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Magisterial Reform And Religious Deviance

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Chapter Summary

In 1537 Augsburg?s government abolished the clergy and ceremonies of the old faith and attempted to make a thorough reformation of the city?s churches. In the records of interrogations and punishments in Augsburg, there are only a couple of incidents of Catholics being arrested for violating the 1537 Church Ordinance. Two cases involving Catholics deal with people seeking Catholic sacraments outside the city walls, in one case for marriage and in the other baptism. In 1544 another case showed the limits of the council?s ability to control religious activities in Augsburg and the variety of activities that needed to be policed. The cases in this chapter illustrate the limitations of the council?s ability to police religious beliefs and practices. People continued to exercise their own judgment in pursuing their spiritual life, and the council showed noticeable restraint in handling incidents of deviance from its new church ordinance.

Keywords: Augsburg?schurch ordinance; evangelical reformers; religious activities

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