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By Robin B. Barnes

Winner of the 2016 Roland H. Bainton ebook Prize of the 16th Century Society and Conference

During the 16th century, no a part of the Christian West observed the improvement of a extra robust and pervasive astrological tradition than the very domestic of the Reformation movement--the Protestant cities of the Holy Roman Empire. whereas most recent ways to the spiritual and social reforms of that age supply scant consciousness to cosmological preoccupations, Robin Barnes argues that astrological ideas and imagery performed a key function in getting ready the floor for the evangelical stream sparked via Martin Luther within the 1520s, in addition to in shaping the specified features of German evangelical tradition over the subsequent century.

Spreading particularly via reasonable revealed almanacs and prognostications, well known astrology functioned in paradoxical methods. It contributed to an enlarged and abstracted experience of the divine that led clear of clericalism, sacramentalism, and the cult of the saints; whilst, it sought to floor humans extra squarely in sensible concerns of way of life. The paintings received remarkable sanction from Luther's closest affiliate, Philipp Melanchthon, whose teachings inspired generations of preachers, physicians, schoolmasters, and literate layfolk. however the apocalyptic astrology that got here to be successful between evangelicals concerned a perpetuation, even a strengthening, of ties among religion and cosmology, which performed out in ideals approximately nature and average indicators that will later seem as rank superstitions. no longer till the early 17th century did Luther's heirs event a "crisis of piety" that pressured preachers and stargazers to half ways.

Astrology and Reformation illuminates an early smooth outlook that was once either sensible and prophetic; a global that used to be neither frequently enchanted nor rationally disillusioned, yet really diversified from the medieval global of conception it had displaced.

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Astrology and Reformation by Robin B. Barnes


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