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Reformation of the SensesThe Paradox of Religious Belief and Practice in Germany$
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Jacob M Baum

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042195

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042195.001.0001

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Thinking with the Senses in the Second Reformation

Thinking with the Senses in the Second Reformation

Chapter:
(p.169) 6 Thinking with the Senses in the Second Reformation
Source:
Reformation of the Senses
Author(s):

Jacob M. Baum

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042195.003.0007

This chapter attempts to inscribe the reformed Christian tradition into the narrative of sensory history by attending to German Calvinist intellectuals’ roles in religious controversies of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It keeps particular focus on discussions about the sensuous elements of the Eucharist and shows that many reformed thinkers actively and positively embraced sensuous worship in heretofore unrecognized ways, in particular emphasizing the importance of touch and vision as important modes of participating in the ritual. Comparative analysis with Lutheran contemporaries reveals strong similarities across confessional boundaries. A deeper exploration of the cultural and intellectual contexts in which these thinkers came of age sheds light on the reasons for these similarities and shows how both Protestant confessions shared much more in common with their late medieval intellectual forebears than we often realize.

Keywords:   Calvinism, reformed Christianity, Eucharist, natural philosophy, intellectuals, touch, vision

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