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Matches Made In Heaven: Lutheran Postillators In The Service Of Their Princes, 1555–1620

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Chapter Summary

There were changes in homiletic styles among Lutherans and Catholics as the sixteenth century progressed. Nearly all postils thereafter offered sermons intended to teach two or three basic points. The majority of authors pointed out that their postils had been structured and written in lengths that made them suitable for more than just serving as models for sermon composition. Luther's decline in popularity was all the more dramatic because of his earlier dominance and ongoing symbolic significance. It was no accident that many works were introduced by what amounted to Lutheran Fürstenspiegel in which princes were admonished to protect right religion and to maintain the conditions under which it could flourish. Pericopes were among the only established or "approved" texts consistently proclaimed to the vast majority of a largely illiterate society. For the great majority of simple Christians, the pericopes were the only scripture they might ever know.

Keywords: Catholics; Christians; Fürstenspiegel; Luther; pericope; Postils; Princes

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