Performing the Reformation: Public Ritual in the City of Luther

Paperback | May 12, 2010

byBarry Stephenson

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The home of Martin Luther for thirty six years and seat of the German Reformation, Wittenberg, Germany is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wittenberg has long been Protestant sacred space, but since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the city and surrounding region have been developingtheir considerable cultural capital. Today, Wittenberg is host to two large-scale annual Luther-themed festivals, and is becoming a center for pilgrimage and heritage tourism. In a recent study, Charles Taylor notes that festivity is experiencing a renaissance as "one of the new forms of religion inour world." Festivals and pilgrimage routes are an integral part of contemporary religion and spirituality, and important cultural institutions in a globalized world.In Performing the Reformation, Stephenson offers a field-based case study of contemporary festivity and pilgrimage in the City of Luther. Welcome to Lutherland, where atheists dress up as monks and nuns for Luther's Wedding; conservative Lutherans work to sacralize the secular, carnival-likefestivities; and medieval players, American Gospel singers, and Peruvian pan flute bands compete for the attention of the bustling crowds. Festivals and tourism in Wittenberg include a range of performative genres (parades and processions, liturgies and concerts, music and dance), cut acrossmultiple cultural domains (religion, politics, economics), and effect connections and shifts among identities (religious, secular, American, German, traditional, postmodern). Incorporating visual methodologies and grounded in historical and social contexts, Stephenson provides an on-the-groundaccount of the annual Luther's Wedding Festival, the Reformation Day Festival, and Lutheran pilgrimage. He also brings his case study into dialogue with important methodological and theoretical issues informing the fields of ritual studies and performance studies.A model of interdisciplinary research, the book includes a DVD with over 2.5 hours of material, extending and animating textual accounts and interpretations.

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The home of Martin Luther for thirty six years and seat of the German Reformation, Wittenberg, Germany is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wittenberg has long been Protestant sacred space, but since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the city and surrounding region have been developingtheir considerable cultural capital. Today, Witt...

Barry Stephenson is an independent reseacher and Instructor affiliated with the Department of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.79 inPublished:May 12, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199739714

ISBN - 13:9780199739714

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Table of Contents

IllustrationsIntroduction: Approaching Lutherland1. Opening the Door2. The Wittenberg Festivals3. A Mighty Fortress?4. Martin Luter, German Hero5. Sociability, Conviviality6. The Carnivalesque, Processing Change7. Pilgrimage, Sacred SpaceAppendix AAppendix BAppendix CBibliographyIndexDVD ContentsIntroductionLegend to PortalWedding MontageTetzel at the DoorsConfirmandsThe AnimatorsProcessingMusicMartinLutherland-FatherlandWorship