The German People and the Reformation
- Publish Date: 1988-05-24
- Binding: Paperback
Recent years have witnessed some dramatic changes in the kinds of questions that historians ask about the religious schisms of sixteenth-century Europe. In the past, scholars tended to treat the Reformation as a chapter in the history of ideas, emphasizing the thought of the major reformers and the changes in Christian doctrine. Today, however, more and more historians are asking how the revolution in theology affected the lives of ordinary men and women. Aware that religious faith is part of the larger cultural and material universe of early modern Europeans, these scholars have exploited hitherto neglected sources in an attempt to reconstruct the people's Reformation.The twelve essays commissioned for this collection represent the broad spectrum of recent scholarship in the social history of the German Reformation. Historians from the United States, East and West Germany, Canada, and Britain offer a panorama of differential methodological approaches and thematic concerns. The essays are centered around four themes: cities and the Reformation; the transmitting of the Reformation in print, ritual, and song; women and the family; and lastly, the impact of the Reformation on education and other aspects of lay culture. R. Po-chia Hsia's introduction provides a brief review of the field, and a bibliographical essay offers topical reading suggestions.