The Reformation of the Dead: Death and Ritual in Early Modern Germany, 1450-1700

Hardcover | January 1, 2000

byCraig M. Koslofsky

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This book examines the human encounter with death in Germany from the eve of the Reformation to the rise of Pietism. The Protestant Reformation transformed the funeral more profoundly than any other ritual of the traditional church. Luther’s doctrine of salvation "by faith alone" made the foundation of the traditional funeral, intercession for the dead in Purgatory, obsolete. By drawing on anthropological interpretations of death ritual, this study explores the changing relationships between the body, the soul, the living and the dead in the daily life of modern Germany.

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This book examines the human encounter with death in Germany from the eve of the Reformation to the rise of Pietism. The Protestant Reformation transformed the funeral more profoundly than any other ritual of the traditional church. Luther’s doctrine of salvation "by faith alone" made the foundation of the traditional funeral, interces...

Craig M. Koslofsky is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

other books by Craig M. Koslofsky

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.82 × 4.16 × 0.87 inPublished:January 1, 2000Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312229100

ISBN - 13:9780312229108

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Table of Contents

Death, Ritual and the Reformation * Separating the Living from the Dead * Souls: The Death of Purgatory and the Reformation * Placing the Dead in the German Reformation * The Lutheran Funeral Ritual to 1700 * The Formation of the Lutheran Funeral Ritual * Honor and Violence: Funerals in the Confessional Age * From Disgrace to Distinction * Death, Ritual and History

Editorial Reviews

"...should be essential reading for all students of the Reformation."--Gary K. Waite, Canadian Journal of History

Craig M. Koslofsky's book is an important contribution to the social history of the reformation. American Historical Review