Miracles and the Protestant Imagination: The Evangelical Wonder Book in Reformation Germany

Hardcover | January 12, 2012

byPhilip M. Soergel

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The wonder book was a new genre that appeared in the troubled years following Luther's death in 1546 and the outbreak of religious wars at mid century. Originally conceived as a kind of apocalyptic text intended to interpret the 'signs of the times' during this uncertain period, these bookswere filled with accounts of celestial visions, comets, natural disasters, monstrous births, and other seeming signs and portents, events in which the hand of God was revealed. As the genre developed, Philip Soergel shows, its authors, mostly Lutheran divines, came increasingly to delve into the theology of miracles and the supernatural. Writing for a mostly clerical audience, they hoped to encourage the broad revival of a sense of divine presence in everyday life. Thus,in contrast to generations of scholars who have assumed that the Reformation represented a vital step on the way to the 'disenchantment of the world,' Soergel's groundbreaking study reveals that German evangelicals were themselves active enchanters.

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The wonder book was a new genre that appeared in the troubled years following Luther's death in 1546 and the outbreak of religious wars at mid century. Originally conceived as a kind of apocalyptic text intended to interpret the ''signs of the times'' during this uncertain period, these bookswere filled with accounts of celestial visio...

Phillip M. Soergel is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:January 12, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199844666

ISBN - 13:9780199844661

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Table of Contents

1. The Appropriation of Wonders in Sixteenth-Century Germany2. Luther on Miracles3. Nature and the ''Signs of the End'' in Job Fincel's Wonder Signs4. Caspar Goltwurm on the Rhetoric of Natural Wonders5. The Polemics of Depravity in the Wonder Books of Christoph Irenaeus6. Enduring Models and Changing Tastes at Century's EndIndex