This introductory chapter begins with a brief discussion of the rationale behind the writing of this volume about the Reformation in Germany and its emotional dimensions. It explains the author's decision to focus the study on religious sermons, in particular, two core subgenres: Passion sermons and those about dying and death. The chapter then discusses religious feeling before the Reformation, and the methodological problems confronting the scholar who attempts to draw conclusions about patterns in both acts and moods of reformation from piecemeal evidence.
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