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The Empire at the End of TimeIdentity and Reform in Late Medieval German Prophecy$
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Frances Courtney Kneupper

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190279363

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190279363.001.0001

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German Identity in Prophetic Thought

German Identity in Prophetic Thought

(p.149) Chapter 7 German Identity in Prophetic Thought
The Empire at the End of Time

Frances Courtney Kneupper

Oxford University Press

The notion of “Germanness,” or a unique and specifically German political identity, figures heavily in the late-medieval prophecies examined in this book. This chapter discusses how nascent ideas of German identity are transmitted and conveyed in the various prophecies. Evidence of German identity is found in the use of the German vernacular, as well as the narrated events. Numerous prophecies interwove predictions of the decline of ecclesiastical authority and the violent reform of the Church with assertions that the German people would be key actors in these events. By locating a developing German identity in the Late Middle Ages, this chapter disputes the conventional historical model, which has traditionally suggested that Germans had no shared political identity until roughly 1500.

Keywords:   Germanness, German identity, political identity, German vernacular, prophecy

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