The Reformation of Ritual: An Interpretation of Early Modern Germany

Synopsis

In The Reformation of Ritual Susan Karant-Nunn explores the function of ritual in early modern German society, and the extent to which it was modified by the Reformation.Employing anthropological insights, and drawing on extensive archival research, Susan Karant-Nunn outlines the significance of the ceremonial changes. This comprehensive study includes an examination of all major rites of passage: birth, baptism, confirmation, engagement, marriage, the churching of women after childbirth, penance, the Eucharist, and dying. The author argues that the changes in ritual made over the course of the century reflect more than theological shifts; ritual was a means of imposing discipline and of making the divine more or less accessible. Church and state cooperated in using ritual as one means of gaining control of the populace.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • London
Publication year:
  • 1997