Summary, in English
In the writings of Swedish theologians during the Reformation era, there are many references to the Church Fathers, such as Augustine, Tertullian, Ambrose and others. This essay examines, through a descriptive method, the use of the Church Fathers in polemic writing against Roman Catholicism and Calvinism during significant theological conflicts in Swedish Reformation history (1528-1604). To some extent prayer books are also included for comparison. Three functions in the use of the Church Fathers appear: As honourable commentators to the Bible, as witnesses to right biblical interpretation and catholic doctrine - functions shared with Martin Luther and other reformators - and as historians aimed to show the opponents’ references to tradition and historical circumstances as being false. Developements in the use of the Church Fathers can be observed depending on changing opponents and growing influence from Renaissance humanism. 20th century-terminology, derived from Otto Richl’s Dogmengeschichte des Protestantismus (1908) is criticised. Instead it is argued that the study method and theological standing of the Church Fathers should be called protestant. The significance of Olaus Petri, as a symbol of the reformatory movement in Sweden, is pointed out as well as a hypothesis that the Church Fathers serve an indefeasable part in a complex separation from, and defense against, Roman Catholicism and Calvinism.