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Catholic Preaching And The German Reformation? Postils And Their Production, 1520–1535

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Chapter Summary

This study is about Catholic and Lutheran postillators and printers put hundreds of thousands of postils into circulation in the century that followed 1520, so many, in fact, that constant numerical comparison between the confessions is not especially revealing. In this early phase that led up to 1535, however, the numbers are significant, as they attest to a conscious effort to put more and more specifically counter-reformation postils into the hands of Catholic preachers. The production of forty-six thousand sets of postils, of which all but two printings appeared in 1530 or thereafter, demonstrates the extent to which Catholics appreciated the actual and potential impact of Luther's collection. It had become clear that standardized books of sermons would play a key role in the battle of winning and retaining hearts and minds in a confessional age. Christoph Stymmelius wrote an octavo that he recommended for the lay but literate audience.

Keywords: Catholic preaching; church; confession; German Reformation; Lutheran; postils; sixteenth century



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