The Moravian Brethren in a Time of Transition

A Socio-Economic Analysis of a Religious Community in Eighteenth-Century Saxony


Based on hundreds of archival documents, Christina Petterson offers an in-depth analysis of the community building process and individual and collective subjectification practices of the Moravian Brethren in eighteenth-century Herrnhut, Eastern Germany between 1740 and 1760.
The Moravian Brethren are a Protestant group, but Petterson demonstrates the relevance of their social experiments and practices for early modernity by drawing out the socio-economic layers of the archival material. In doing so, she provides a non-religious reading of categories that become central to liberal ideology as the Moravians negotiate the transition from feudal society to early capitalism. As such The Moravian Brethren in a Time of Transition combines archival analysis with socio-economic change.

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Christina Petterson, PhD (2011, Macquarie University), is visiting research fellow at the Australian National University, School of Politics. She has published extensively on Christianity and socio-economics, and most recently co-edited Legacies of David Cranz’ Historie von Grönland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).
Preface and Acknowledgements

 1 To the Marxists
 2 To Moravian Scholars and Other Theologians
 3 Outline of Chapters

1 Introducing Choir Ideology
 1 Introduction
 2 From Choir Speech to Choir Ideology
 3 What Is the Function of a Choir?
 4 Methodology
 5 The Choirs as Vanishing Mediators

2 The Choirs – A Genealogy
 1 Introduction
 2 Overview of the Genealogy
 3 Terminology and the Establishment of the Choirs
 4 The Day of All Choirs: 25 March
 5 Choir Houses
 6 Conclusion

3 Blood, Wounds, and Class
 1 Introduction
 2 Martin Dober’s Account
 3 The Purge in Herrnhut
 4 Blood, Wounds, and Authority
 5 Conclusion

4 The Choir Speeches
 1 Introduction
 2 The Saviour, Individual and Collective
 3 Children’s Choir
 4 Boys’ Choir
 5 Girls’ Choir
 6 Single Brothers’ Choir
 7 Single Sisters’ Choir
 8 Widowers’ Choir
 9 Widows’ Choir
 10 Conclusion

5 Marriage and Community
 1 Zinzendorf’s Idea of Marriage
 2 The Problem
 3 After the Synod
 4 Conclusion

6 The State and Its Subjects
 1 Stand as Manifestation of Cultural Revolution
 2 Gender
 3 Class Society and the Civic Self
 4 Individual and Subject
 5 The Question of Religion
 6 Conclusion

7 Horizons of History
 1 Times of Change
 2 Agents of Change or Expressions of Change
 3 Dimensions of History

Appendix 1
Appendix 2
All interested in eighteenth-century history, and Marxist historical approach.
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