English: Articles regularly feature the notion of a forceful influence that was exerted by Heinrich
Bullinger (sixteenth-century church reformer and successor of Zwingli in Zurich) on the
early settlement during the first sixty years since Van Riebeeck’s arrival at the Cape.
Various publications conclude by stating Bullinger’s theological influence on the
jurisprudence and social structures in the community. The issue as to whether and to
what extent Bullinger’s theology and writing played a role in the Cape during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and that of dealing with, interpretating and treating
historical sources and texts are of historical concern. Furthermore, the importance
of discerning between historical and theological texts has theological and historiographical
consequences. This article points out that the issue of theological
influence during the first half of the history of settlement at the Cape is more complex
than it may seem at first glance, on the one hand, and that it is difficult to gauge the
importance of Bullinger’s direct or indirect influence during this period, on the other.