Cultural Impact of the Reformation: Section II.6

Reformation, Protestantism and Gender

Gisela Mettele and Siegrid Westphal


Wednesday, 9th of August 2017, Leucorea, Seminar room 1

2.30–3.15 p.m. Christian V. Witt: Luthers Reformation der Ehe. Theologische Gestalt und kulturelle Wirkung

3.30–4.15 p.m. Christopher König: Inszenierte Männlichkeit. Maskulinität und männliche Rollenbilder in den Reformationsdramen

4.30–5.15 p.m. Benedikt Brunner: Die Neuformulierung des Leib-Seele-Verhältnisses in der Reformationszeit und ihre Auswirkungen auf Körperbewusstsein, Sexualität und Ehe

5.30–6.15 p.m. Julia Schmidt-Funke: »Appetitus ad mulierem est creatio Dei«. Zum Problem der Keuschheit im Protestantismus


Thursday, 10th of August 2017, Leucorea, Seminar room 1

2.30–3.15 p.m. Wolfgang Breul: Die Ehe im frühneuzeitlichen Protestantismus. Von der Bejahung der Leiblichkeit zu ihrer Krise

3.30–4.15 p.m. Katherine Faull: Speaking to Body and Soul. Moravian Pastoral Care in the 18th Century

4.30–5.15 p.m. Susanne Hennecke: Equality and / or Difference? Reception of Reformation in the Context of Early Women Movements

5.30–6.15 p.m. Gerhard Schreiber: ›Semper reformandum‹? Geschlechtliche Vielfalt als Herausforderung und Chance für den Protestantismus


While the history of women and gender has discussed many aspects of the Reformation from a historical perspective, it has examined only to a lesser extent its long-term consequences and impacts up to the present. This section addresses these impacts using two main examples: First, the reconceptualization of marriage and its consequences, and second, the continued significance of the Reformation’s doctrine of ›priesthood of all believers‹.

Reconceptualization of marriage

The Reformation did not result in the creation of a comprehensive doctrine of matrimony, but rather in the discussion of single aspects, as a response to concrete problems. These varied from legal questions on marriage to the theological and social value of matrimony, even including concrete features of the spouses’ relationship. The theological contradiction to the sacramental character of matrimony, conceding divorce with the possibility of marrying again, possibly had the most lasting effects. This topic also fostered internal differentiation of confessions and denominations. The section examines the long-term impacts of these ambivalent aspects regarding the conceptualization of marriage. Central questions are the forming of a protestant doctrine of matrimony and of protestant matrimonial law, the pluralization of couples’ relationships as a consequence of transformations since the Reformation and the relationship between a man and a woman within their marriage as shaped by the commandment of subordination and by emancipation.

Equality and participation

The Reformation’s concept of universal priesthood raised and continues to raise questions of equality and participation, the impacts of which extend into cultural practises of society and everyday life. These questions will be investigated in the section from the perspective of gender history. This perspective can be seen in the history of Pietism, in different worldwide emancipatory movements, in disputes about the ordination of women, but also in various media or in cultural expressions of piety. The section is open to a wide spectrum of contributions.


Kulturelle Wirkungen der Reformation

7 to 11 August 2017

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