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4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening reading for not-so simple folk!, 8 Nov 2003
This review is from: For the Sake of Simple Folk: Popular Propaganda for the German Reformation (Clarendon Paperbacks) (Paperback)
This book was indeed enlightening, in its highlighting of the importance of the visual in the Lutheran Reformation. It is easy to over-simplify the past,and think that the Reformation was a movement of words, Protestantism being originally based on 'Scripture Alone'. Conversely, this great work illustrates how 'visual' the Reformation was, and how it was used to spread Lutheranism, a religion of the book, to an overwhelmingly illiterate population. The fascinating prints that are used wonderfully convey a sense of the time.
However, this book made me ask so many more questions, questions it did not answer! Did the largely negative propaganda lead to increasing religious nominalism in 'Protestant' Germany? How did the Lutheran stress on Faith Alone effect the manifestations of popular piety? But the fact that the book leaves you asking more questions is no bad thing, it just goes to show how engaging 'For the Sake of Simple Folk' is!
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