Original Research

Anna Reinhard Zwingli – ‘Apostolic Dorcas’, ‘dearest housewife’, ‘angel-wife’, ‘ziel van mijn ziel’ and ‘mater dolorosa of the Reformation’: From woman to valued citizen

Raymond Potgieter
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 3 | a2007 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i3.2007 | © 2016 Raymond Potgieter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 July 2015 | Published: 19 August 2016

About the author(s)

Raymond Potgieter, Department of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


A biography of Anna Zwingli might be compiled by skipping from one pinnacle point in her life to another. However, much of her story is relative to what is known about her husbands John Meier von Knonau and Ulrich Zwingli. But Anna was more than simply the wife of a lesser noble or a famous reformer. Her life story was also intertwined with development of the Reformation in Zurich and the impact it had upon her and her family. The Reformation did not only bring about religious reform but also had an impact on women and their ministerial roles. Anna was indeed a woman of the Reformation but also the wife of a reformer. Together with other women of the Reformation and of Zurich she served its cause from within its gender confines overshadowed by her husband, Ulrich Zwingli. The role of woman/women remains a contentious issue for many in the Christian church.


Anna Zwingli; Anna von Knonau; women of the reformation; widow; marriage; Ulrich Zwingli; Zurich


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