Melchior Rinck, the Diabolical Practice of Infant baptism, and Non-Heroic Anabaptism


  • Stuart Murray Williams


This article is the text of the annual lecture of the Centre for Anabaptist Studies, given on 23 November 2022 by the author of The Legacy of Melchior Rinck. After a summary of Rinck’s life and development through the stages of reformer, revolutionary and Anabaptist, the article explores his trenchant critique of infant baptism. Rinck’s legacy is also considered, setting this in the context of the unusual tolerance available to Anabaptists in Hesse. Questions are raised about the contemporary application of Rinck’s views on baptism and the significance of this aspect of the Anabaptist story.