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10. The Influence of the Devotio Moderna in Northern Germany

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Chapter Summary

The Devotio moderna, literally "modern devotion", was the most successful religious movement in late-medieval Europe. It took as its aim the reform of spiritual life according to the ideals of early Christianity and was characterized by the striving for an intense inner spiritual life. From its beginnings in the Netherlands, it radiated southwards into the whole of western Europe and along the network of Hanseatic towns into northern Europe. This chapter focuses on the geographical area that constitutes the immediate sphere of influence exercised by the Northern Dutch Devout movement: the northern Netherlands, especially the area north of Utrecht, and on the German side, Westphalia as far as the Lower Rhine. It examines the beginnings of the movement in the late 14th century to its late phase in the middle of the 16th century.

Keywords: Devotio moderna; late-medieval Europe; Northern Dutch Devout movement; northern Germany



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