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Pietism, Ministry, And Church Discipline: The Tribulations Of Christoph Matthäus Seidel

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Chapter Summary

In the last twenty years, scholars have written extensively on social discipline in central Europe, but they have given little attention to the Pietists' various attempts in the 1690s to create a godly society. The intellectual debates spawned by these efforts can probably partially explain why the project of social discipline began to lose force after 1700. This chapter shows that chiliastic expectations greatly motivated Seidel and perturbed Saxon church officials. These expectations also possibly moved peasants to acknowledge the urgency of Christoph Matthäus Seidel's warnings and forswear at least temporarily the pleasures of music and dancing. By highlighting the importance of millenarianism, the chapter has shown also that the distinction between radical Pietists and inner-churchly Pietists remained inchoate during the 1690s. The campaign to suppress moral adiaphora in the 1690s, illustrated by the case of Seidel, had far-reaching consequences for shaping the clergy's professional self-identity.

Keywords: Christoph Matthäus Seidel; Church; godly society; Ministry; moral adiaphora; Pietism; radical Pietist; Saxon church officials; social discipline; Tribulations



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