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Berchtold Haller

1492-1536. Swiss Reformer. Born at Aldingen, he studied theology at Cologne, taught for a time, became a spiritual notary in 1517, and assistant and then successor to Thomas Wyttenbach at the Church of St. Vincent, Berne. Here he became imbued with Zwinglian ideas. One of a circle of Evangelical clergy in Berne, he was left alone when the rest were forced to flee in 1523, he himself being tried but acquitted of heresy. With popular backing he gradually won the town council to his Reformed views, defending his actions at the conferences of Baden and Berne (1526 and 1528), compiling with Kolb a Protestant liturgy, and issuing a reformatory edict in 1528. By now the acknowledged spiritual leader of his town, he spent his later years in a round of preaching, visiting and catechizing, in efforts to strengthen the Reformed cause diplomatically, and in controversy with the Anabaptists.