The Emergence of the Pastoral Family in the German Reformation: The Parsonage as a Site of Socio-religious Change



An innovative historiographic trend over the last two generations has been to display the continuities between the late Middle Ages and the Reformation era.1 Even though the year 1500 still stands as a dividing line between the pre-modern and modern periods in the European past, its fragility is increasingly visible to all. Little more than the entrenched departmentalization of academic institutions throughout the West holds this chronological marker in place. The reliance of Martin Luther’s theology on the thought of various predecessors is plain, as is, among much else, the encroachment of the state on the ecclesiastical sphere. Even efforts to impose greater moral discipline upon the laity began not later than the fifteenth century, along with more stringent regulations and rhetoric concerning the place of women in home and workforce. Yet the Reformation was a break with traditional religion — we sense it on every side. The time has come for a renewed critical reflection on the posited similarities between early Lutheranism and the Catholicism out of which it startlingly emerged.


Sixteenth Century Puerperal Fever Teenth Century Early Modern Period Pastoral Family 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2003

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