Archeologies of Confession: Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017 | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Archeologies of Confession: Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017

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Volume 16

Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association

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Archeologies of Confession

Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017

Edited by Carina L. Johnson, David M. Luebke, Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer, and Jesse Spohnholz

352 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-540-2 $179.00/£132.00 / Hb / Published (May 2017)

ISBN  978-1-78920-496-4 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (June 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78533-541-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Among the many edited volumes that were published 2017 on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the Reformation this volume stands out because of the variety of its source materials on the one hand and its clear thematic structure on the other. Accordingly, this volume makes an important contribution to the historical reappraisal of the Reformation and maps out paths of future research.” • Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung

“…a valuable collection through and through.” • Historische Zeitschrift

“As a group, the essays take up a variety of our predecessors and are carefully researched and argued.  There is not a weak link among them.” • German History

“This is a wide-ranging collection which raises some challenging questions for historians about the reliability of earlier scholarship. Two key issues emerge: the danger of assuming a confessional clarity and separation in the early years of the Reformation (or even later) which did not actually come into being until later, and the need to check even accepted narratives of identity formation against archival material. The points are well made and the examples adduced are convincing evidence for this double need.” • The English Historical Review

“This impressive collection of essays deals effectively with the question of confessional histories, offering a convincing evaluation of how the events of the Reformation were regarded and interpreted by contemporaries as well as later generations.” • Andrew Spicer, Oxford Brookes University

Archeologies of Confession comprises a fascinating series of original and stimulating essays. It will be invaluable for scholars of the Reformation and of German religious history more broadly.” • Joachim Whaley, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge


Modern religious identities are rooted in collective memories that are constantly made and remade across generations. How do these mutations of memory distort our picture of historical change and the ways that historical actors perceive it? Can one give voice to those whom history has forgotten? The essays collected here examine the formation of religious identities during the Reformation in Germany through case studies of remembering and forgetting—instances in which patterns and practices of religious plurality were excised from historical memory. By tracing their ramifications through the centuries, Archeologies of Confession carefully reconstructs the often surprising histories of plurality that have otherwise been lost or obscured.

Carina L. Johnson is Professor of History at Pitzer College and serves as extended faculty at Claremont Graduate University. She specializes in the cultural history of the sixteenth-century Habsburg Empire, particularly in relation to the extra-European world. Her publications include Cultural Hierarchy in Sixteenth-Century Europe: The Ottomans and Mexicans (2011).

David M. Luebke is Professor of History at the University of Oregon and has specialized in the history of social protest movements in early modern Germany as well as the formation of religious denominations during and after the Protestant Reformation. His publications include Hometown Religion: Regimes of Coexistence in Early Modern Westphalia (2016) and, as co-editor, the Spektrum volumes Conversion and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Germany (2012) and Mixed Matches: Transgressive Unions in Germany from the Reformation to the Enlightenment (2014).

Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer is the Susan C. Karant-Nunn Chair for Reformation and Early Modern European History in the Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies at the University of Arizona. Her publications include From Priest’s Whore to Pastor’s Wife: Clerical Marriage and the Process of Reform in the Early German Reformation (2012), She is co-editor of Ideas and Cultural Margins in Early Modern Germany: Essays in Honor of H. C. Erik Midelfort (2009), Names and Naming in Early Modern Germany (2019), and Topographies of Tolerance and Intolerance: Responses to Religious Pluralism in Reformation Europe (2018).

Jesse Spohnholz is Professor of History at Washington State University. His research focuses on confessional coexistence, religious exile, gender, and memory of the Reformation  in the early modern Netherlands and northwest Germany. His books include The Tactics of Toleration: A Refugee Community in the Age of Religious Wars (2011) and The Convent of Wesel: The Event That Never Was and the Invention of Tradition (2017).

Subject: History: Medieval/Early ModernMemory Studies
Area: Germany


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