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Anabaptist religious literature and hymnody

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns itself with devotional texts that have left a lasting mark on Anabaptism and its descendent movements. It represents the diverse expressions of Anabaptism theologically, geographically, and chronologically. Author’s goal is to highlight continuities, discontinuities, and commonalities. He draws attention to neglected but formative writers and writings. The chapter gives the numerous but little known texts on worship a place within the literature of Anabaptism as a whole. It shows how different authors come to terms with the unstable relationship in much of Anabaptism between inner and outer, Spirit and matter. It begins with three common generalizations about spirituality in the formative period of Swiss, Hutterian, and Dutch Anabaptism. It then traces the development and mutation of these traits in later generations of Mennonites in the Netherlands and North Germany, Swiss Brethren in Switzerland and South Germany, and Hutterites, centered in Moravia.

Keywords: devotional texts; Dutch Anabaptism; Hymnody; Mennonites; Moravia; religious literature; spirituality; Swiss Brethren



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