The Reformation of Faith in the Context of Late Medieval Theology and Piety

Essays by Berndt Hamm


This book comprises the first major collection of articles in English translation by University of Erlangen Professor Dr. Berndt Hamm, one of the most important and innovative scholars of the intellectual history of late-medieval and Reformation Germany. The articles herein trace the evolution of Christian theology and piety from the twelfth through the sixteenth centuries, employing a variety of disciplines and interpretative models to chart transformations with extraordinary attention to historical context. Hamm’s intensive work with previously unknown sermon collections, devotional works, and pastoral care manuals from the later middle ages serves as the basis for a new appraisal of the lines of continuity and change between that era and the German Reformation.

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Berndt Hamm has been Professor für Neuere Kirchengeschichte at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg since 1984. His numerous monographs include Frömmigkeitstheologie am Anfang des 16. Jahrhunderts. Studien zu Johannes von Paltz und seinem Umkreis (1982); Zwinglis Reformation der Freiheit (1988), and Bürgertum und Glaube. Konturen der städtischen Reformation (1996).
'...this is a wonderful book to which I shall return time and again in the coming years. Robert J. Bast is to be thanked for making the work of Berndt Hamm from the University of Erlangen available to an English reading public in a translation that is clear and precise.'
Brian Patrick McGuire, The Medieval Review, 2004.
'Berndt Hamm, though a prolific scholar, is not very well-known outside the narrow confines of his specialty, namely scholars of the era of the German Reformation. This is unfortunate, since his scholarship has a theoretical and historiographical breadth that should recommend it to a broader acadmic audience. The volume in question remedies this situation by making available in English some of his most important articles...The object of bringing Hamm's work to a broader audience was a worthy one, and this is volume that belongs in any credible research library collection.'
Patrick M. Hayden-Roy, Renaissance Quarterly.
Editor’s Foreword

1. Normative Centering in the 15th and 16th Centuries: Observations on Religiosity, Theology, and Iconology
2. Between Severity and Mercy. Three Models of Pre-Reformation Urban Reform Preaching: Savonarola – Staupitz – Geiler
3. Volition and Inadequacy as a Topic in Late Medieval Pastoral Care of Penitents
4. From the Medieval “Love of God” to the “Faith” of Luther – A Contribution to the History of Penitence
5. Why did “Faith” become for Luther the Central Concept of the Christian Life?
6. What was the Reformation Doctrine of Justification?
7. Reformation “from below” and Reformation “from above”. On the Problem of the Historical Classifications of the Reformation
8. How Innovative was the Reformation?
9. The Place of the Reformation in the Second Christian Millennium

Index of Persons and Places
Index of Subjects
This book is essential reading for those interested in the history of Christianity and the theology and piety of late-medieval and Reformation Europe.
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