In concentrating on behavior and practice, as opposed to doctrine and dogma, these historians have shown that Christianity as understood by the masses was at times far removed from the liturgical and doctrinal controversies of the elite. An examination of the accounts of demon possession and of the treatises on demonology written in France in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries can tell us a great deal about the thoughts, beliefs and preoccupations of contemporary Christians. The impression left by many of these is that the majority were written in an attempt to suppress the unorthodox views of the masses.
Unlike France and England, which were unified states ruled by monarchs, Germany remained a loose confederation of more than semi-autonomous states in the early-modern era. The Reformation and Counter-Reformation had cut deep fissures into the political system of the region during the sixteenth century, and controversies over religion persisted in the early seventeenth century.
That clash, waged in several major stages during its seemingly unending history, ultimately did little to resolve the longstanding problems that had made religion the central issue in German society since the s.
The war thus helped to confirm the political disunity of the Germanies until the nineteenth century, and its legal formulations enhanced the tendency already present in politics for territorial rulers to become more and more like absolutist princes.
In our progression century by century through church history, we come to the tumultuous 16th century and the explosive influence of the Reformation. A couple of years ago in preparing our Christian History Institute video curriculum Reformation Overview* I was privileged to visit all the major. France, for instance, had the same kinds of problems as the rest of Europe: political, social and economic tension made worse by religious division. Even competent rulers and officials had trouble governing France at this time. Few persons living in the troublesome days of the religious wars of the sixteenth century could have predicted the rise of the great French monarchy in the next hundred years. The struggle between the Huguenots and the Catholics, and the rivalries among the nobles, the lower classes, and the weak.
In the generations following its conclusion, many German rulers looked westward toward France, and the cultural brilliance of Versailles provided a consistent source for their emulation. In England, these religious tensions, and eventual civil war, had done little to dampen the development of vigorous literary debates.
So, too, in Germany, the seventeenth century produced a wealth of new religious literature, poetry, and fiction. But while some of these writings spoke to the dismal political and religious realities of the period, others were relatively unaffected by the problems of the age.
Linguistic diversity had always been a major fact of German life, with many different dialects being spoken throughout the country. At the end of the Middle Agesseveral attempts had been made to foster a more unified written language, first at the court of Charles IV in Prague during the so-called " Golden Age " in the mid-fourteenth century, and later under the Habsburg emperors of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, when a chancery or legal form of the language had been developed and its use pioneered throughout the country.
Throughout the Middle Ages the Latin used in the church and universities had been transformed, so that by it had become a distinctly different language from that which had been spoken and written in ancient Rome.
In the sixteenth century great Neo-Latin stylists like Desiderius Erasmus and Michel de Montaigne were able to speak and write a form of the language that mirrored the ancient language, and their efforts were widely imitated among later sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century intellectuals.
In Germany, those who received a university education continued to produce poetry and prose in Latin, rather than in their native languages in the seventeenth century.
Yet their very experiments with the study of Neo-Latin helped to enrich the usages and style of German. As many began to compose in their native tongue, they decried the paucity of vocabulary and literary devices to convey their subtle arguments.
The "Fruit-Bringing" Society in German, Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft was perhaps the most important of the many experiments in which German authors tried to create a literary form of German equal to that of other languages, particularly Neo-Latin. Its membership was distinctly aristocratic from the first, and its purpose had several interrelated aims.
First, the "Fruit-Bringing" Society desired to cultivate an elegant literary form of German that would make use of the best rhetorical skills.
Beyond this, its members longed to purify their language of usages that were not Germanic in origin and to create a pattern of verse writing that was appropriate to the sound and syntax of their language.
The efforts of the "Fruit-Bringing" Society were soon aided by the publication of the poems of Martin Opitz, the first great literary figure of the German Baroque era. InOpitz published his Book of German Poetry, a work that established standards that were to persist in German verse writing over the coming century.
He recommended, for instance, the Alexandrine or twelve-syllable line for the writing of epics and the use of iambic pentameter for sonnets. But his work also included examples of how the best poems of writers in other languages might be successfully rendered into German, and this part of his focus soon inspired poets to undertake a host of new translations.
Opitz also recommended the office of the poet to his readers as one of "divine" significance. Poetry, he argued, derived from divine inspiration, and thus it contained within its lines an encoded or "hidden" theology. The poet, in other words, should make the beautiful appear even more so, even as he castigated ugliness in terms more grotesque than it was in actuality.
For his own efforts in the art, the German emperor named him Poet Laureate inand two years later, raised Opitz and his descendants to noble status. Usually composed of members of the aristocracy, these societies pursued the same end as the original "Fruit-Bringing Society": In the years that followed, numerous poets throughout the German-speaking world took up the task that Martin Opitz had set down for them.
They eagerly translated prose and poetic works from other languages into German, even as they experimented with applying the insights that they attained from these endeavors to fashioning a new literary idiom.The Body Broken: The Calvinist Doctrine of the Eucharist and the Symbolization of Power in Sixteenth-Century France.
New York: Oxford University Press, Euler, Carrie. The Devil and the Religious Controversies of Sixteenth-Century France updated /11/30 The DILS Project: A database of English liturgical manuscripts prior to Early Church Documents -- .
Religious Controversies of Sixteenth-Century France Research conducted by social historians in the past few decades has revealed a rich fabric of religious belief and .
A Research on the Devil and the Religious Controversies of Sixteenth Century in France. 5, words. 6 pages. An Essay on the Book of Mark from the Bible.
2 pages. The Depiction of Shipping in St. Paul's Book of Acts. 1, words. 2 pages. Religion: An Overview of . France, for instance, had the same kinds of problems as the rest of Europe: political, social and economic tension made worse by religious division.
Even competent rulers and officials had trouble governing France at this time. It is not till the seventeenth century that the structure of government is adjusted to cope with the territorial expansion of the sixteenth, in Spain, in France, in Britain.8 Until then, the Renaissance State expands continuously without bursting its old envelope.
That envelope is the medieval, aristocratic monarchy, the rule of the Christian.