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The Enlightenment Sermon: Towards Practical Religion And A Sacred National Community

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the Enlightenment renewal of the sermon within the public churches of North-Western Europe in the late eighteenth century. It defines the Enlightenment sermon in the context of the recent scholarly debate on religion and the Enlightenment. The chapter presents a comparative exploration of how the Enlightenment sermon has been understood in different national contexts. It analyses the elements of Enlightenment thought contained in the sermons by focusing on the specific genre of the political sermon, which, due to its unusual politico-religious authority, played a particularly important role in registering, sanctifying, reinforcing and sometimes producing changes in the contemporary worldview. Ten political sermons originating from Anglican, French Catholic, French Constitutional, Austrian Catholic, Prussian Lutheran, Dutch Reformed and Swedish Lutheran contexts will be analysed for this purpose.

Keywords: Enlightenment sermon; French Catholic; political sermon



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