The Reformation and Rural Society: The Parishes of Brandenburg-Ansbach-Kulmbach, 1528-1603

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This book examines the relationship between the Reformation movement of the sixteenth century and the rural population of Germany. Over ninety percent of the population lived in the countryside, and yet to date they have received scant attention. The experience of the Reformation by the average villager is described, and an attempt is made to understand the villagers on their own terms: their beliefs, their customs, and their forms of rule. The result is an original work that both examines an important event such as the Reformation and judges it by the standards (and often the words) of the people themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

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"Dixon's careful and detailed research in judicial records provides a wealth of anecdotes that demonstrate the central role of the pastor in attempting to create an orderly moral society." Choice

"...provicative....fortuitous....The book is clearly and tightly organized....his study of parish life in the late sixteenth century is much more original." Marc R. Forster, The Sixteenth Century Journal

"...Dixon efficiently sketches the introduction of Lutheran ideas to Brandenburg-Ansbach, and the creation of a working church hierarchy under margraves's tight control....the theories involved are well developed and ripe for critical reevaluation...a precise and detailed analysis of a well chosen case." Randolph C. Head, Central European History

"Dixon succeeds admirably..." Joel F. Harrington, American Historical Review

"Dixon's study is a fine addition to the small but growing literature on the Reformation in rural areas." Mary Jane Haemig, Lutheran Quarterly

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The emergence and reception of the evangelical movement, 1521–1533; 2. The Lutheran church in Brandenburg-Ansbach-Kulmbach; 3. The clergyman in context: the extension of the Reformation on the parish; 4. The Reformation and parish morality; 5. The acculturation of the parish mind; Conclusions.

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