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A Magnificent FaithArt and Identity in Lutheran Germany$
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Bridget Heal

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737575.001.0001

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Between Catholic Idolatry and Calvinist Iconoclasm

Between Catholic Idolatry and Calvinist Iconoclasm

Images and Confessional Identity in the Sixteenth Century

(p.43) 2 Between Catholic Idolatry and Calvinist Iconoclasm
A Magnificent Faith

Bridget Heal

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 analyses the role that images played in the theological controversies of the later sixteenth century. It opens with an investigation of Lutheran church furnishings during the mid-sixteenth century, which shows that there was no clear consensus at that time with regard to images, either at the level of theology or at the level of devotional practice. The chapter then investigates images’ fate during a time of crisis for the Lutheran Church, in the aftermath of the reformer’s death (1546) and Emperor Charles V’s victory over the Schmalkaldic League (1547). As Luther’s heirs contested his legacy, the treatment of images served as a means of indicating allegiance to either Wittenberg or the Gnesio-Lutheran cause. The chapter then considers the role that images played in confessional delineation as Calvinism became established in parts of the Holy Roman Empire from the 1560s onwards.

Keywords:   Church furnishings, altarpieces, church ordinances, Augsburg Interim (1548), Ernestine Saxony, Gnesio-Lutheranism, adiaphora, Zwickau, Calvinism, Martin Chemnitz

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