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Marriage And Marriage-Criticism In Pietism: Philipp Jakob Spener, Gottfried Arnold, And Nikolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf

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Chapter Summary

Nikolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf 's judgement on marriage and sexuality was not only more positive than that of his Pietist predecessors, he also understood the union of man and woman, including the sexual act, as the highest expression of spirituality. Philipp Jakob Spener's interpretation of marriage is fundamentally to be seen in line with the Lutheran tradition, which he often cited. This chapter outlines the background of Gottfried Arnold's criticism of marriage. It overviews three important positions of Pietism on marriage and shows that there was obviously some unease regarding sexual differences. The sexual act is seen as irreconcilable with an earnest spiritual life as a Christian. Pietistically motivated criticism of marriage led to ascetic as well as libertine solutions. Starting from this realization, an extended analysis is needed that incorporates anthropological and body historical theories as well as social aspects.

Keywords: Gottfried Arnold; Lutheran tradition; marriage-criticism; Nikolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf; Philipp Jakob Spener; pietism



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