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Eight dialogues between a politician and a theologian, 1698–1700: The political and religious significance of a seventeenth-century literary genre

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Chapter Summary

In 1698 Conrad Bröske began writing his most ambitious literary work, an eight part fictional dialogue. The eight Unterredungen (Dialogues) functioned as an entertaining Philadelphian catechism, with the Politician playing the role of the sceptical but inquisitive Burger and the Theologian acting as the skilled teacher. The dialogue genre was a popular one in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially among Enlightenment thinkers and German Pietist writers. The dialogue offered a way to introduce themes of renewal and change that were central to the experience and hopes of many in the late seventeenth century. In his Unterredungen, Bröske used the dialogues to promote the message and program of Philadelphian millennialism. This chapter first considers historical and literary features of Bröske's Unterredungen. It then examines ways in which they functioned to mirror and represent, as well as to instruct and educate, late seventeenth century German society.

Keywords: Conrad Bröske; eight Dialogues; literary features; Philadelphian millennialism; Politician; seventeenth century German society; Theologian



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