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.