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Loss And Emotion In Funeral Works On Children In Seventeenth-Century Germany

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the question of the &t;how&t; of the love of children. It aims to establish whether deaths of children can be understood a priori as losses, or whether such a view is always already predetermined by our modern interpretive frame. From a historical perspective, in contrast, death must be conceptualized not as a secular but as a predominantly spiritual incident to which meaning is assigned largely through religious beliefs. To date, the history of childhood has been examined mainly by social historians who have studied the lives of farm laborers, maids, and servants. The chapter focuses on other children, precisely those from learned households that belonged to the academic elite. It discusses two principal forms of love in funeral sermons for children: the love of God and the love that children owe their parents.

Keywords: Augustinian love of God; children; funeral sermons; Platonic self-love



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