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A Magnificent FaithArt and Identity in Lutheran Germany$
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Bridget Heal

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737575.001.0001

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The Desire for Images

The Desire for Images

Lutheran Identity in Electoral Saxony and Brandenburg

Chapter:
(p.74) 3 The Desire for Images
Source:
A Magnificent Faith
Author(s):

Bridget Heal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198737575.003.0004

Chapter 3 examines in detail the impact of Calvinist reform on Lutheran attitudes towards images in the two territories that form the main focus of this study: Electoral Saxony and Brandenburg. It shows that images served as confessional markers not only for Lutheran theologians but also for laypeople. In Saxony, where Elector Christian I introduced short-lived Calvinist reforms in 1586–91, members of the political elite expressed their loyalty to Lutheranism through the epitaphs and altarpieces that they commissioned. In Brandenburg, where Elector Johann Sigismund attempted to introduce a fully fledged Calvinist Reformation in 1615, there was widespread resistance to iconoclasm. In April 1615, Berlin’s Lutheran inhabitants rioted, in part in response to the stripping of the city’s main church. The chapter analyzes accounts of this riot and considers its legacy, arguing that during this period conflict served to embed images even more firmly in Lutheran confessional consciousness.

Keywords:   Calvinism, Saxony, Elector Christian I, Lutheran nobility, Eucharist, crucifix, Brandenburg, Elector Johann Sigismund, Abraham Scultetus, Berlin, iconoclasm

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