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Dreams, Standards Of Knowledge And Orthodoxy In Germany In The Sixteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

This article outlines the shifting status of dreams during the confessional era, as truth came to be defined no longer in relation to signs, but rather in terms of facts, a process that paralleled the evolution from vague rejections of 'heterodoxy' to precise definitions of 'unorthodoxy' and 'orthodoxy'. The author argues that the competing efforts to legitimate confessional orthodoxy in Germany during the sixteenth century unavoidably generated accompanying quests for appropriately defined standards of knowledge. In the course of time, Christian authors increasingly rejected the pantheistic connotations of such (originally positive) swarms, as did Calvin in this article "against the philosophical i.e. of a universal spirit that would support the world". A swarm was thus a complex whole of elements that "fluttered about" without order. The main consequence of this discussion is a shift concerning the definition of reality.

Keywords: Dreams; Germany; heterodoxy; Orthodoxy



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