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Reformation of FeelingShaping the Religious Emotions in Early Modern Germany$
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Susan Karant-Nunn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195399738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195399738.001.0001

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The Lutheran Churches

The Lutheran Churches

(p.63) 2 The Lutheran Churches
Reformation of Feeling

Susan C. Karant-Nunn (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how the adherents of the evangelical forms of belief were made aware—by means of ritual and the decoration of Lutheran sanctuaries—that along with late-medieval Catholic Christianity, emotion-oriented piety was at an end, or at least to be severely curtailed and redirected. Lutheran divines intended to communicate to the members of their congregations that God was present spiritually. He was not approachable physically or susceptible of manipulation by humankind. Changes in liturgical words, gestures, cultic artifacts, and the arrangement of the sacral space—in short, in the whole of ecclesiastical ritual—gave people to understand that they should not dramatically act out their devotion. In general, the new program strove to dampen the outer demonstration of religious fervor, though not piety itself. Protestant piety, guided by the Word of God, was explicitly and semiotically defined as quiet submission to the workings of faith within the individual Christian and, externally, as gentle, less emotive (however feeling), non-flaunting submission to authority and the service of one's neighbor. Princes, reformers, and magistrates simultaneously sought to suppress flamboyant demonstrativeness in social relations as well.

Keywords:   Lutheranism, piety, devotion, religious fervor, sermons, Christians

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