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Between The Old Faith And The New: Spiritual Loss In Reformation Germany

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Chapter Summary

Fifteenth-century Europe was marked by a religious angst, which one can see in the writings of the famously disaffected: Pierre d'Ailly, Jean Gerson, Matthew of Cracow, Bernardino of Siena, Vincent Ferrer, John of Capistrano, Christine de Pizan, Girolamo Savonarola, and so on. The anxieties of fifteenth-century reformers included the conviction, the feeling of religious failure and the loss of a primitive ideal. In the Reformation, the new preachers of the 1520s and 30s alleged all manner of religious failures. Those who defended the old faith could complain that the new faith destroyed these things. The possibility of assimilation could be attributed to the relative confessional indifference of third Germans. Anabaptists were "ordinary" third Germans. Mosheim was a kind of humanist. The range of humanistic responses to the religious controversy in Germany has been documented by Erika Rummel.

Keywords: Anabaptists; Mosheim; new faith; third Germans



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