The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church - Vol. 5

By Hughes Oliphant Old | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
Preaching in the
Austro-Hungarian Empire

Between the Hapsburgs and the Jesuits a unique culture was established in eastern Europe from the beginning of the seventeenth century through most of the eighteenth century.1 This Austro-Hungarian baroque culture was quite distinct from what was going on in western Europe, and this is especially noticeable in preaching. There is a world of difference between the great French preachers such as Bossuet, Bourdaloue, and Massillon and their Austrian contemporaries Abraham a Sancta Clara and Franz Peikhart. True, the Frenchmen were baroque as well, but they went about it so differently. The absolutism of the Bourbons was splendid, almost to the point of being convincing. The Hapsburgs, on the other hand, were never quite as believable.

What sets Austro-Hungarian baroque apart is a certain lightheartedness. The Austrian preachers never became the classic orators of the German language that Bossuet, Bourdaloue, and Massillon became of French. Austro-Hungarian baroque at its best entertains us more than it enlightens us. The French baroque preachers had something monumental about them. The Austro-Hungarian baroque never attained anything like that. They were often charming but rarely grand.

1. The libraries to which I have access are not particularly well stocked with the source materials I would like to have read for this chapter. If this chapter is necessarily incomplete, it is nevertheless able to report the existence of a fascinating field of inquiry yet to be explored.

-294-

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The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church - Vol. 5
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface xiii
  • Chapter I - Moderatism 1
  • Chapter II - The Awakenings of Eighteenth-Century Pietism 69
  • Chapter III - New England 168
  • Chapter IV - Preaching in the Austro-Hungarian Empire 294
  • Chapter V - Franciscan Preaching in Spanish California 351
  • Chapter VI - Romanian Orthodoxy under the Turks 367
  • Chapter VII - The Russian Orthodox Church 389
  • Chapter VIII - Scotland 429
  • Chapter IX - Evangelical Anglicanism 541
  • Bibliography 579
  • Index 601
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