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Title: Power and persuasion : catechetical treatments of the sacraments in Reformation Germany, 1529-1597
Author: Atherton, Ruth Kimberley
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 4411
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2018
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This study considers the nature of the sacramental knowledge that was taught in the sixteenth-century catechisms of Martin Luther, Andreas Osiander, Peter Canisius, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Catechism of the Council of Trent. Focusing on the sacraments of baptism, penance, and communion, this thesis seeks to present two principal arguments that are rooted in the indisputable fact that the catechisms were intended for a lay audience. Firstly, the knowledge imparted in sacramental instruction was too limited to delineate effectively along confessional lines, thereby raising questions about the extent to which catechisms can be viewed as tools by which to create fixed confessional identities. The second argument is that catechisms should be seen as facilitators of concord rather than division. The avoidance of complex sacramental doctrine suggests that catechisms were intended to help the laity live together. This does not suggest that there was an attempt to merge together doctrinal beliefs: each of the catechisms taught the elements of a Catholic, Lutheran, or Reformed faith. Moreover, the German catechists were fiercely devoted to their respective confessions, as evidenced by their broader publications. However, in providing religious edification for the laity, the heat was taken out of these theological divisions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BT Doctrinal Theology ; DD Germany