The Holy Household - Women and Morals in Reformation Augsburg

Philip Broadhead | Published in
  • The Holy Household: Women and Morals in Reformation Augsburg
    Lyndal Roper (Oxford University Press, 1989, 1991, ix+296 pp.)

The importance of the support given by the towns and cities of Germany to the Reformation and the subsequent influence of urban ideals upon the Protestant church have in recent years become central to our understanding of the German Reformation. Research on the cities has, however, raised several complex problems, principally what was actually understood by the various sections of urban society when they originally encountered evangelical ideas and what did they believe would be the consequences of the introduction of the Reformation! In addition there is the difficulty of evaluating how social and economic circumstances conditioned the response of individuals and communities to the new religious teachings. In this case-study of Augsburg, Dr Roper uses a feminist analysis to address these issues and to establish a significant reappraisal of the relationship between civic ideals and the Reformation. According to this account 'Gender relations... far from being tangentially affected by the Reformation, were at the crux of the Reformation itself ', for it was in the definition of the role of women and the control of marriage that social, economic and religious motives for change found a common purpose.

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