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  • Scheming Papists and Lutheran Fools: Five Reformation Satires.Erika Rummel.
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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This volume is a collection of five satires from the Reformation period, written between and In her Introduction to the work, Rummel explains that the battle between reformers and champions of the old faith was waged on many fronts, "not only by preachers thundering from the pulpits, theologians facing each other in acrimonious disputations, and church authoriti This volume is a collection of five satires from the Reformation period, written between and In her Introduction to the work, Rummel explains that the battle between reformers and champions of the old faith was waged on many fronts, "not only by preachers thundering from the pulpits, theologians facing each other in acrimonious disputations, and church authorities issuing censures and condemnations.

Rummel explains: "Satire, a genre that requires finely honed language skills, was the preferred weapon of the humanists, who by and large sympathizes with the reformers. Thus Erasmus claimed that the debates of his time were the result of antagonism between the faculties of Arts and Theology.

Three of the selections contained in the volume represent the Reformers, and two support the Catholics, the "Papists" of the title. These satirical essays, circulated widely among educated laypersons, use wit and biting humor to ridicule and discredit their adversaries and belong to a genre which was part of a larger body of sixteenth-century satire. The proliferation of satires became a concern of authorities who moved to suppress what they called "hate-mongering.

Scheming Papists and Lutheran Fools: Five Reformation Satires

As a result, many of the pieces did not survive to the present day, many more are only known to us through obscure references in other literature. This volume brings to light five of these satiric pieces, written in the pivotal period when the Reformation ceased to be a protest and organized itself as a full-fledged movement. The topical issues featured in each satire are brought into historical context by a headnote explaining the circumstances surrounding its publication and giving bibliographical information about the satire's author.

The witty style makes this collection entertaining reading and the impact of these writings sheds new light on the history of the Reformation. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.

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Published January 1st by Fordham University Press. More Details Original Title. The peculiarly Lutheran predilection for images had another result, in the illustration of Lutheran bibles. John, most famously the depictions of the beast in the temple Rev. The tiaras proved controversial and were quickly withdrawn; but their original inclusion exemplifies the remarkable freedom Luther felt able to exercise in relation to the form of the sacred text, provided that its essence was retained. This was not so much a case of a Bible specifically prepared for the laity, as if layfolk were second-class Christians who did not need exposure to the real thing, but a means of preparing the laity to access the Bible.

A large proportion—perhaps around half—of Reformation pamphlets omit any indication of author or printer or provenance or date, partly to avoid the risk of prosecution, partly perhaps to indicate a mighty but anonymous swell of popular support for reform. But often these anonymous pamphlets keep their secrets. Nonetheless, a great number of pamphlets do carry reliable information, and allow us to make fairly firm generalizations.

It is a relatively straightforward task to name the most widely published of the evangelical pamphleteers. Perhaps more surprising is that the names of four laymen appear on the list: Melanchthon, Sachs, Hutten, and Cronberg. Interestingly, this list would seem to be fairly representative of pamphleteers as a whole. Thirty-two percent had backgrounds in religion, while 42 percent were secular clergy.

The category of lay writers can be broken down still further. Miriam Chrisman has studied the writings of all ninety-four German lay propaganda pamphleteers Protestant and Catholic active in the period to , and has determined their social status as follows: noble knights, 25 percent; minor civil servants and technicians, 18 percent; urban elite, 6. Hutten and Cronberg came from the second most populated group, the nobility. Chrisman further identifies six 6. Three of the lay pamphleteers are identified as Catholic. A lay category omitted by Chrisman was that of peasant writers.

Some thirty pamphlets were published under the names of self-styled peasants in this period, but Chrisman assumes that these were in reality the work of educated clerical reformers masquerading as peasants. The same tendency to social and cultural mobility is evident in the case of the printers who produced pamphlets. Printers were typically drawn from the ranks of highly skilled manual workers—silversmiths, goldsmiths, engravers, and painters—who could use many of their skills in the art and technology of printing.

Others came up from the ranks, as it were, journeymen who composed the type or pulled the sheets and who had amassed enough capital to set up in business for themselves. Yet others were highly educated men: at least twelve of the seventy-seven printers active in Strasbourg between and had been to university, while Georg Rhau became a printer in Wittenberg only after having held the chair of music at the university. On the one hand was Heinrich Seybold of Strasbourg, whose printing business was ancillary to his main profession as a physician.

As with all the regulated trades, it was common for businesses to pass to others through marriage or re-marriage as well as through direct male inheritance; but it was unusual for women to run presses themselves for any length of time, or to carry out business in their own name.

The printers can justifiably be called unsung heroes of the Reformation, because of the dangers they ran in handling religious pamphlets. In addition to the usual commercial risks, publishers of such material in the Empire, between and , were acting in contravention of the Edict of Worms. But others clearly worked in accordance with their own religious convictions, such as the Catholics Peter Quentel at Cologne, Alexander Weissenhorn at Ingolstadt, who printed for Eck, and Nicholas Wolrab at Leipzig, who printed for Cochlaeus.

The greatest risks were run by those who printed Anabaptist works, who could not rely on a friendly council but could depend on the hostility of Protestants and Catholics alike. One such was the Nuremberg printer Hans Hergot, who was executed in for printing the pamphlet The New Transformation of a Christian Life , which describes a communalist utopia. The tragic example of Hergot and his vision of a society free from the tyranny of property reminds us how socially conservative the 16th century was. But in spite of its conservatism and deep concern with matters of status and rank not even Hergot proposed the outright abolition of the nobility , it was also a period of great social mobility and the breaking down of time-honored distinctions.

The role of the clergy was partly confirmed, partly further undermined, by such lay movements as the devotio moderna and the popularity of lay-controlled confraternities. The Reformation, when it came, was led by clergy and monks, who preached the open Bible and the priesthood of all believers, and in doing so undermined their own position in society.

We can see from the background and education of both pamphleteers and printers that they, no less than the pamphlets they produced, inhabited the social and cultural meeting-point of worlds hitherto kept apart. Pamphlets were ephemeral productions designed to be read as soon as they came off the press. The efforts described above of pamphleteers and printers to design, produce, and market these little books would have been wasted without the prospect of an immediate, paying readership. Unfortunately, this is the aspect of the process we can say least about with any degree of certainty.

Much invaluable work has been done on the inventories of books sometimes attached to 16th-century wills. It seems that our understanding of pamphlet-consumption is destined to lag behind our understanding of pamphlet production. Despite over a century and a half of intensive research, the phenomenon of printing, propaganda, and public opinion in the time of Martin Luther remains enigmatic.

The amount of printed material that has survived is considerable, and through such developments as the Universal Short-Title Catalogue and the progressive digitization of library holdings, it is now more accessible than ever before. Academics who conducted their doctoral research before the late s can only envy the facilities available to their present-day successors.

However, there is much we still do not know about this mass of material. We do not know how representative were the views they contain, or how effective these publications were at persuading others of those views. Precisely because it has been, and remains, so enigmatic, the field of Reformation printing has been perhaps more than usually vulnerable to the vagaries of scholarly fashion.

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Before suggesting how this field is likely to develop in future, it might be instructive briefly to review the manner in which it has been treated in the past. Schubart in — The terms reinforced the idea that Reformation pamphlets were cheap, crude, and aesthetically unprepossessing artefacts of far less interest to the bibliographer than literary works of more lasting value, and it is fair to say that, because of this, pamphlets received little scholarly attention until the second half of the 19th century.

The case for studying pamphlets as a worthwhile subject of historical and theological inquiry in their own right was first put seriously by Gottfried Blochwitz in a article. He concluded that these pamphlets were evidence that Luther had disseminated his message successfully to every level of society, even the lowest. But given the personal and practical difficulties Gravier must have faced in writing about a German national hero in German-occupied France, his work deserves to be considered a landmark study. Perhaps because of the enthusiasm with which pamphlet studies were prosecuted in the Nazi era, the immediate post-war years saw a decline of interest.

The development of ready-made statistical programs for mainframe computers in the s and s enabled historians who were not programming specialists to access computers for the manipulation of large bodies of data. The analysis of catalogue entries of 16th-century book collections, broken down by author, date, provenance, publisher, language, format, and so on, was pioneered by R. Cole in his study of the Gustav Freytag pamphlet collection.

First, it meant that large bibliographies could be hosted online and laid the foundation for the holy grail of researchers, a union catalogue of all 16th-century holdings extant in libraries. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly for the purposes of this entry, digital copies of holdings of regional German libraries are being made accessible online free of charge. This service lacks the sophistication of an equivalent paid-for service such as Early English Books Online which alongside digital images provides the machine-readable text of the books , but is nonetheless likely to revolutionize the study of German Reformation pamphlets once again.

Pioneered by French scholars such as Lucien Febvre, it attempts to locate printing in its social and cultural context and is therefore an arm of cultural history. Something of its vitality can be gauged from the Library of the Written Word series, published by Brill under the direction of Andrew Pettegree. The third factor, which has particularly characterized German-language studies, is the post-war growth of methods for assessing the effectiveness of mass communications.


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  7. The result has been an unlikely alliance of capitalist and Marxist methodologies brought to bear on the Reformation pamphlet. The public sphere approach has had the effect of demonstrating the importance of context when discussing German Reformation propaganda. First, it is now usual to speak of a communication process in which the public were not mere recipients of a propaganda message but active participants within the Reformation public sphere. It is also acknowledged that, for various reasons, the Reformation public sphere that obtained in Germany was not replicated elsewhere, and therefore that the German experience cannot be taken as indicative of the European experience as a whole.

    Opportunities for getting to grips with German Reformation pamphlets are understandably limited for those who lack a reading knowledge of 16th-century German and in some cases Latin. Five Reformation Satires. See also B. Mangrum and G. It is unfortunate that more anthologies of Reformation pamphlets do not exist in English translation, though there are examples of German equivalents, which are less forbidding to the learner than a digitized or even a real pamphlet.

    Many examples of printed broadsheets can be found in Max Geisberg and W. For the more advanced student, the digitized holdings of German regional libraries are proving to be a wonderful, free, resource.

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    The process is not yet complete, but it has already transformed the field, especially for scholars based outside Germany. The best finding aid for German pamphlets since has been the Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachbereich erschienenen Drucke des 16 , abbreviated as VD As of April , about 30 percent of the entries in VD16 had been digitized. Behringer, Wolfgang. Find this resource:.

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    Chrisman, Miriam U. Dickens, Arthur Geoffrey. The German Nation and Martin Luther. Edwards, Mark U. Printing, Propaganda, and Martin Luther. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, Eisenstein, Elizabeth L.

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