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LUMEN publishes regularly new blog entries on theoretical, methodical, and empirical elements of its ongoing research.
What is wrong with giving only to the deserving poor? Any discomfort with the word - deserving - stems from the subjective nature of determining who are the deserving poor. The concern is that charity and generosity have become exclusive or exclusionary or it is simply not clear who is included. Yet, the sixteenth-century reformers, such as Johannes Bugenhagen, one of the three key Wittenberg reformers, had a clear sense of the deserving poor and it included more than it excluded.
Right from the outset, Luther’s attack on works righteousness was criticised for the implication that people were thereby released from the obligation to do good work. The logic of this criticism was that people will stop doing good work if doing good work has no influence on their salvation. Simultaneously, the religious obligation placed on the authorities has been seen as an obligation to maintain social order by defining certain actions negatively as sinful and thus criminal. However, to gain a more complete picture of the impact of Lutheranism on societal development, it is crucial to include the positive obligation to do good work on a personal and societal level.
For some time, our research group in LUMEN has been investigating the possible impact of the Reformation upon the formation of society. The challenging aspect has been to find ways to investigate the impact that ideas (in this case religion in the form of a specific confession) have had on societal development and the everyday life of ordinary people.
In this post I suggest that negative emotions described in the religious literature as an element in an un-Christian life can bring us closer to an understanding of what was deemed to be an un-Christian life in early modern Denmark. I argue that this will enable us to gain a deeper understanding not only of norms, values and responsibilities within the household, but also of the possible influence of religious literature and worldviews on the lives of ordinary people.
After the Reformation, the Danish nobility began producing memorials featuring nobles staring directly at the congregation. In this blog entry, I will argue that these staring nobles do not just tell us about a new painting style, because the pictures can also be studied as an image of the elite’s incorporation of Lutheran confessional culture in the second half of the 16th century.
In many ways, the practice of the Eucharist in early modern Denmark was a feature of the efforts made to build stable communities. On the one hand,…
The connection between religion on the one hand, and social change and the formation of societies on the other hand, has been steadily attracting interest in recent years. The complex relationship and mutual dependency between confessional forces and societal development lies at the very heart of the interdisciplinary LUMEN-center at Aarhus University.
One very famous result of the Reformation is often summed up in the statement that Luther helped reemphasize the congregation as the centre of Eucharistic practice. Most discourse on the subject highlights this transformation as a theological change but applying contemporary practice theory can help to reveal that the change is also performative at its core.
The first blog-entry is written by historian Nina Javette Koefoed. She reflects on the value of a more specific knowledge of theology, in this case the catechism, to her research on household, authority and socio-emotional relations.
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