Mixed Matches: Transgressive Unions in Germany from the Reformation to the Enlightenment | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Mixed Matches: Transgressive Unions in Germany from the Reformation to the Enlightenment

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Volume 8

Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association

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Mixed Matches

Transgressive Unions in Germany from the Reformation to the Enlightenment

Edited by David M. Luebke and Mary Lindemann
Afterword by Joel Harrington

252 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-409-0 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (August 2014)

ISBN  978-1-78533-524-2 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (June 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78238-410-6 eBook


View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This rich volume will be useful to scholars researching and teaching a range of topics, from German history and the history of sexuality, to religious and legal studies.” • Central European History

“This volume is exemplary regarding structure, coherence, and originality.” • Werkstatt Geschichte

“A seminal anthology of original work and research, Mixed Matches is a valued and highly recommended addition to personal and academic library Germany History & Culture reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.” • Midwest Book Review

“The essays in this groundbreaking volume explore discourses and practices surrounding a wide variety of transgressive unions in early modern Germany, including those that challenged boundaries of confession, rank, race, honor, sexual morality (e.g., the incest ‘taboo’), and, in the case of bigamy, the institution of marriage itself. Taken together, they provide fascinating new insight into the shifting understandings of marriage and sexual union in the years 1500-1800 while highlighting the public dimensions of private intimacy throughout this era.” • George Williamson, Florida State University

“This collection of essays implicitly addresses the adage that ‘every rule is made to be broken.’ Each author takes up a category of departure—shall I say deviance?—from the norms governing moral behavior in early modern Germany, an age allegedly rigidly devoted to order and discipline. The topics run from bigamy through ex-nuns’ marriage, marital class and racial differences, spousal adherence to opposing faiths, and incest. These studies all embody significant primary research and are of uniformly high quality.  Collectively they illuminate not only specific acts of nonconformity but the standards themselves.” • Susan C. Karant-Nunn, University of Arizona


The significant changes in early modern German marriage practices included many unions that violated some taboo. That taboo could be theological and involve the marriage of monks and nuns, or refer to social misalliances as when commoners and princes (or princesses) wed. Equally transgressive were unions that crossed religious boundaries, such as marriages between Catholics and Protestants, those that violated ethnic or racial barriers, and those that broke kin-related rules. Taking as a point of departure Martin Luther’s redefinition of marriage, the contributors to this volume spin out the multiple ways that the Reformers’ attempts to simplify and clarify marriage affected education, philosophy, literature, high politics, diplomacy, and law. Ranging from the Reformation, through the ages of confessionalization, to the Enlightenment, Mixed Matches addresses the historical complexity of the socio-cultural institution of marriage.

David M. Luebke is Professor of History at the University of Oregon. He is author most recently of Hometown Religion: Regimes of Coexistence in Early Modern Westphalia (2016). He is also editor of The Counter-Reformation (1999) and co-editor of Conversion and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Germany (2012) and Archeologies of Confession: Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017 (2017).

Mary Lindemann is Professor and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Miami. She is the author of five books, most recently The Merchant Republics: Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Hamburg (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Earlier publications include; Patriots and Paupers: Hamburg, 1712-1830 (Oxford University Press, 1990); Health and Healing in Eighteenth-Century Germany (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996); Medicine and Society in Early Modern Europe (2nd edition, 2010); Liaisons dangereuses: Sex, Law, and Diplomacy in the Age of Frederick the Great (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

Subject: History: Medieval/Early Modern
Area: Germany


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