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Preaching In Lutheran Pulpits In The Age Of Confessionalization

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Chapter Summary

From both historical and theological perspectives, preaching was central to the Lutheran Reformation and the churches that followed Luther's call for reform. Throughout the 17th-century German culture remained primarily oral even though the printing press altered public life, particularly intellectual discourse, profoundly. The Holy Spirit, using the means of preaching, "calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies" the whole Christian church on earth. Lutheran preaching took place for the most part in the context of congregational life; sermons formed one half of a conversation between pastors and their people. Discussion of the effects of preaching in the Reformation and the age of confessionalization must wrestle with the methods for defining the question and ascertaining as much as possible about these reactions. Nonetheless, the beginnings of serious study of Reformation and Confessional age sermons in Lutheran ecclesiastical culture are a welcome development.

Keywords:17th-century German culture; confessionalization; Lutheran ecclesiastical culture; Lutheran preaching; Lutheran pulpits



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