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Chapter One

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Chapter Summary

This chapter wishes to trace the world of learning of the Norwegian clergy 1650-1750 by analyzing the content of their book collections. The main question it answers is this; how can the flow of information among clerics in Norway during a given part of the early modern period be characterized? Why undertake such a study? First and foremost the chapter provides evidence of the flow of books in a specific geographical area during a period generally characterized as an age of expansion: The so-called scientific revolution and the rise of tolerance, as well as long-distance travel and expanding networks of communication and education, all contributed to the interchange of various types of knowledge. Legally, Lutheranism in Norway was introduced in 1650-1750 by a stroke of the pen. Unlike in Denmark, where Lutheran beliefs had already taken root, Protestantism came to Norway with very few antecedents.

Keywords: Lutheranism; Norway; Protestantism



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