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Edited by Esther Peperkamp and Malgorzata Rajtar

The radical process of religious change in eastern Germany poses a real challenge to social researchers. Common explanations view either the socialist past or larger scale processes of modernization to be the cause of eastern German secularization, but fail to address historical contingencies and individual agency. This book focuses on the interplay between local bureaucracies and individual lives. Contextualizing individual choices is essential in order to gain insight into how religious meaning is produced, reproduced, contested, discontinued, and disrupted. Bringing together the disciplines of anthropology, history, political science, and sociology, what unites the articles is their qualitative approach. The collection of articles lays out an impressive mosaic of the religious and the secular in the GDR and contemporary eastern Germany.

Contributors are Irene Becci, Anja Frank, Uta Karstein, Anna Körs, Esther Peperkamp, Małgorzata Rajtar, Thomas Schmidt-Lux, Nikolai Vukov, Kirstin Wappler, and Monika Wohlrab-Sahr.

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Kiril Petkov

This book reveals the social logic of the medieval rituals of reconciliation as showcased by the most potent rite, the kiss of peace. Ritual is presented as a contested ground on which individuals, groups, and political and moral authorities competed for and appropriated political sovereignty. The thesis of the study is that by employing ritual and bodily mnemonics as strategic tools, the forces of order and official morality strove to organize personality structures around a hegemonic value system. Researching three analytical fields—the legal bonds of peace, the emotional economy of ritual, and the building of identity—the book highlights the contents and evolution of ritual reconciliation in diverse cultural contexts in the period between the eleventh and the sixteenth centuries.

Ways of Knowing

Ten Interdisciplinary Essays

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Edited by Mary Lindemann

"Knowing" itself is a problematic concept and what was once seen as the clear objective of "knowing," that is to discover "truth" or "reality," has become increasingly less certain. This is even more the case when scholars move from the present to examine epistemology in the past. Two fundamental questions arise: What constituted knowledge in the context of early modern Germany and how was knowledge gathered, assembled, organized, deployed, and interpreted? Ways of Knowing seeks to answer these questions. Taking their cues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, including art, German literature, social, political, medical, and religious history, the contributors offer readers a rich and insightful portrait of knowing and knowledge in early modern Germany. Investigators look at what people “knew” in early modern Germany and how they “knew” it. Four essays in part one consider how knowledge was created and organized. In part two, six authors examine how knowledge was evaluated and how it functioned, especially in the realms of belief, law, politics, and medicine.

Contributors include: Robert Beachy, Susan R. Boettcher, Jason Coy, Pia F. Cuneo, Mitchell Lewis Hammond, Mary Lindemann, Francisca Loetz, Terence McIntosh, Janice L. Neri, Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre, and Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly.

A Lutheran Plague

Murdering to Die in the Eighteenth Century

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Tyge Krogh

To kill someone purely in order to be sentenced to death and then to die at the hands of the executioner! Such murders were alarmingly frequent in eighteenth-century Lutheran Europe. The book traces the complex motives behind these crimes – an investigation that leads not only to the Pietist interest in saving the souls of those sentenced to death but also into some of the central elements of Lutheran soteriology and the idea of capital punishment as being divinely ordained.
The murders prompted special legislation and challenged the religious basis of the death penalty, and the killings and the logic behind them played an important role in debates about capital punishment, following Beccaria.
Although much less frequent than in Lutheran Europe, such crimes are still committed elsewhere in eighteenth-century Europe, and even in the present-day US. Thus they seem to go hand in hand with the death penalty, irrespective of time and space.

At dræbe nogen alene for at blive dødsdømt og henrettet af bødelen!. Sådanne mord var alarmerende hyppige i 1700-tallets lutherske Europa. Bogen eftersporer de komplekse motiver bag disse forbrydelser - en undersøgelse der fører ikke bare til det pietistiske engagement i at frelse de dødsdømtes sjæle, men også til centrale dele af den lutherske frelseforståelse og til forestillingen om, at dødsstraffene var direkte beordrede af Gud.
Bogen har selvmordsmordene i København og den danske stats bekæmpelse af selvmordsmordene som udgangspunkt, men indeholder også et europæisk udblik. Mordene førte til særlig lovgivning og udforderde de religiøst motiverede dødsstraffe. Her blev Danmark foregangsland, da man i 1767 helt ekstraordinært afskaffede dødsstraffen for disse mord.
Om end meget sjældnere end i det lutherske Europa ses selvmordsmord også i det øvrige Europa i 1700-tallet såvel som i vore dages USA. De synes således at ledsage dødsstraffen overalt, hvor den er i brug.

Citizenship and Identity in a Multinational Commonwealth

Poland-Lithuania in Context, 1550-1772

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Edited by Karin Friedrich and Barbara Pendzich

This volume seeks to address the doubts harboured by the West about the ability of East Central European states to build modern democracies and tolerant societies after the expansion of the European Union eastwards. The tradition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is thereby often overlooked in favour of the nationalist romanticism and xenophobia of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, which arose from the specific context of the partitions of 1772-95. Yet citizenship in a multinational context was a central theme of the political debate in early modern Poland-Lithuania. For many contemporary religious and national conflicts, this Commonwealth cannot be a direct model for imitation, but may serve as a source of inspiration due to the creative solutions and compromises it negotiated while integrating many faiths and ethnicities.

Contributors are James B. Collins, Karin Friedrich, Gershon David Hundert, Joanna Kostyło, Krzysztof Łazarski, Allan I. Macinnes, Barbara M. Pendzich, Felicia Roşu, Barbara Skinner, and Artūras Vasiliauskas.

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H. Salvador Martínez

Recent publications about King Alfonso X have tended to focus on his role as monarch in the context of the institutions of the realm. This book, however, emphasizes the human dimension of this extraordinary figure. Drawing on King Alfonso’s own works and on extensive archival sources, both well-known and neglected, Salvador Martínez brings to life a king who valued the possession of knowledge above all earthly riches. The "Learned King" left a vast legacy of work, which would influence developments in both Spain and Europe, most significantly in the transfer of knowledge from the Arabs to the Christian West. With his intellectual curiosity and his pursuit of wisdom, Alfonso X is a towering figure at the origins of modernity.

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David L. Ellis

constitution to the revolution, an impressive body of scholarship has also emerged. 9 The impressive body of literature, and the passions that still sometimes emerge in it, testify to the power of the revolution to continue to inspire scholars. The revolution was an event of seismic proportions, presenting

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David L. Ellis

revolution.” 2 Hengstenberg explained that a petition had been submitted to the king to decree a day of repentance; Minister Ladenberg had expressed personal support but officially demurred, stating that […] in the present situation the relationships and the provisions of the state decree of a day of

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David L. Ellis

Gemeindeordnung was tantamount to republicanism, and he suggested it would therefore ultimately undermine the monarchy itself: The Gemeindeordnung in its present form is nothing more than the introduction of the republic in the smallest village community. Everything is supposed to be organized according to one

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David L. Ellis

Awakened, then, such developments presented an irony unwelcome for many. Awakened men were appointed to the Ministry for Spiritual Affairs that had once sent police to harass Awakened conventicles. But Adalbert von Ladenberg, Karl Otto von Raumer, and Moritz August von Bethmann-Hollweg had increasingly