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The Reformation of SufferingPastoral Theology and Lay Piety in Late Medieval and Early Modern Germany$
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Ronald K. Rittgers

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199795086

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199795086.001.0001

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(p.257) Conclusion
The Reformation of Suffering

Ronald K. Rittgers

Oxford University Press

The conclusion provides a summary of the analysis and argument and then briefly explores one possible long-term legacy of the Protestant reformation of suffering for the Western church and Western civilization: the suppression of lament as a way of coping with adversity. The conclusion explores the reasons for this suppression and speculates that its overall effect on Western Christianity has been to harm the religion’s plausibility. The conclusion ends with a few remarks on the relationship between the sources and actual divine consolation, arguing that the historian cannot observe such consolation but also should not deny its possibility.

Keywords:   lament, suffering, consolation, divine consolation, Western civilization

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