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Introduction Pietism And Community In Europe And North America

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the key themes discussed in the chapters of this book. As one of the most important renewal movements to emerge in early modern Protestantism, Pietism reordered the way that many Protestants conceptualized the religious dimensions of community from the most basic unit of the family and marriage to Utopian communal societies and quasi-monastic orders. Hartmut Lehmann described the development of Pietist practices of community as occurring in an ongoing tension between segregation from the "children of the world" and the formation of new communities of committed Christians. Lehmann emphasizes the importance of these new communities in forging new traditions and identities that are peculiar to Pietist movements. The essays in this volume represent the diverse ways in which Pietists struggled with the tension between Absonderung and neue Gemeinschaft in the Atlantic world during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

Keywords: modern Protestantism; pietism; Utopian communal societies



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