German and Scandinavian Protestantism 1700-1918
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 716
Width: 15.4 cm
Height: 23.3 cm
This book is the first history in English of the Lutheran Church in Germany and Scandinavia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A period of fundamental and lasting change in the political landscape with the separation of the old twin monarchies of Sweden-Finland and Denmark-Norway in Scandinavia (1808, 1814), and the unification of Germany (1866-71), this was also a time of particular unease and upheaval for the church. Attempts to emulate the spiritual community of the early church, reform of the church establishment, and steps taken to enlighten parishioners were almost always held back by the anomalous structural legacy of the Reformation, tradition, and parish habit, sacred and profane. However, the birth of the modern nation-state and its market economy posed a fundamental challenge to the structure and ethos of the Reformation churches, as it did to the Catholic Church. The First World War deepened the crisis further: German Protestants (and the Scandinavians were not immune either, although they remained neutral), who bracketed modernity with crisis and religion with national renewal, and who saw national loyalty as a higher value than the faith, fellowship, and moral order of the church, were swept up into the maw of a modern national war machine which threatened to wipe out Protestantism altogether.
This is a work of very special character ... a work of fine nuances, a study in which the complicated network of the post-Reformation ecclesiastical situation in Germany and Scandinavia is explored by means of approaching it from various different angles ... Throughout the work, personal and collective forms of devotional life receive much attention ... This is a rich book; all the more interesting because of its idiosyncratic structure. It is not a manual in the traditional sense ... a work which, just because of its originality, may be considered a valuable addition to the steadily expanding Oxford History of the Christian Church. Journal of Theological Studies Although the text is crowded with informative portraits of scholars, church leaders, devotional authors, architects, and musicians, it also offers important interpretive insights ... Hope deserves praise for his pioneering work, which contributes much both to comparative church history and to our understanding of a neglected aspect of the modernization process in Central and Northern Europe. American Historical Review