Reformation of Feeling: Shaping the Religious Emotions in Early Modern Germany

ISBN : 9780195399738

Susan Karant-Nunn
352 ページ
163 x 242 mm

Susan Karant-Nunn argues that the 16th-century Reformation movement sought not only to modify people's doctrinal convictions and their behavior but to root these changes in altered sentiment. She finds evidence for this thesis in all of the media employed by ecclesiastical authorities within Catholicism, Lutheranism, and the Reformed churches - including sermons, catechetical materials, liturgical modifications, the decoration of sanctuaries, and hymns and their lyrics. She focuses especially on the content of preaching on the Passion during Holy Week as well as treatments of the good Christian death. She finds that in late medieval through 17th-century Catholicism, hearers were enjoined to cultivate a profound identification with Jesus in his agony, as he makes his way from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Cross. Indeed, the pious ought to feel his suffering in their own bodies. She traces the emergence of Lutheran restraint and emphasis on the accomplished atonement of Christ for human sin. Sorrow must be present, but quickly gives way to the consolation of God's love. The Reformed preachers (Zwinglian and Calvinist), however, while agreeing that Christ's suffering benefited all of the elect, enjoined self-condemnation on all their hearers - the recognition that no one deserved God's gratuitous gift of eternal life. She looks at the awareness of preachers from all three groups of the emotional difference that set them apart from the others. Clergymen's training in rhetoric, she shows, attuned them to the goal of undergirding intellectual persuasion with feeling.


1. Introduction
2. Catholic Preaching
3. The Lutheran Churches
4. The Reformed Churches
5. The Jews
6. The Virgin Mary
7. Dying and Death
8. Lay Reception
9. Conclusion


Susan Karant-Nunn is Professor of History and Director, Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies, University of Arizona