Catalogue


Reordering marriage and society in Reformation Germany /
Joel F. Harrington.
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1995.
description
xv, 315 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521464838 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1995.
isbn
0521464838 (hardback)
catalogue key
1209535
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 284-303) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-01-01:
Harrington's is a major charge into the ongoing debate over the significance of the Reformation for the basic social institution of marriage. Against the view that Protestant reform brought a sweeping overthrow of medieval marriage ideals, Harrington argues that both Protestants and Catholics perpetuated conservative and patriarchal ideals from the high and late Middle Ages. Ecclesiastical and governmental reforms of the 16th century merely brought newly strict efforts to enforce these ideals. Such efforts, moreover, were no more successful than were broader programs of Christian social discipline; that is, they remained largely frustrated. Hence despite notable Protestant changes, such as the abolition of clerical celibacy, the Reformation wrought no sudden revolution in marriage as an ideal or institution. Harrington draws on extensive archival studies and an impressive mastery of the vast secondary literature. His approach is scholarly, cautious, and full of qualifications, which makes for demanding reading. Critics may contend that he has played down too strongly the significance of 16th-century changes. Yet the book-jacket blurb calling this "the clearest and most comprehensive evaluation of the Reformation's impact on marriage currently available" is probably justified. Sophisticated scholarly apparatus. Upper-division undergraduates and above. R. B. Barnes Davidson College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"...this well-documented, convincingly-argued book shows the aims of both religious and secular reformers in both Protestant and Catholic territories to have been conservative in nature, committed to enforcing the view of marriage that had been developing for centuries." Laurel Carrington, The American Journal of Legal History
"...it both illuminates an important aspect of the history of the family and reveals how much of its complex and multi-faceted history remains to be explored." Times Literary Supplement
"Joel Harrington has done both specialists and nonspecialists a great service by providing a book-length study that deserves to be read by a wide audience, including those interested in parts of the world well beyond Reformation Germany." Journal of the History of Sexuality
"This is an ambitious study...densely researched...clear and even-handed...This element alone is an important service to field; that this study goes further and challenges scholars to widen the context of the discussion of marriage is praiseworthy and important." The Historian
"...intelligently conceived and well executed....this is a very good book."The Catholic Historical Review
"Harrington draws on extensive archival studies and an impressive mastery of the vast secondary literature. Sophisticated scholarly apparatus." Choice
"Harrington's account of the convergence of Catholic and Protestant reform of marriage is generally persuasive....[his] book is a solid addition to the growing literature on ideas and social practices in the Reformation era." Central European History
"...an excellent summation of the history of ecclesiastical doctrine--theological and legal--from the twelfth to the sixteenth century... Its analysis of the literature on marriage--both scholarly and contemporary--is masterful." Sixteenth Century Journal
"For scholars interested in the family history of the sixteenth century. Joel Harrington's new book is a must-read. In a highly contentious field, Harrington has produced a work as provocative as any of its predecessors." Benjamin Kaplan, The Journal of Modern History
"...a first-rate book on marriage and the control of sexuality in sixteenth-century Germany, solidly based on both published and archival sources....an important contribution to scholarship, showing the conjunction among social, religious, and legal history." Journal of Social History
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1996
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Summaries
Main Description
This book examines the impact of the Protestant Reformation on both the ideal and practice of marriage in sixteenth-century Germany. Unlike previous specialized and esoteric monographs, this study synthesizes the author's extensive archival work with a broad array of scholarly research in legal, theological, and, especially, social history. His most important conclusion is the minimal impact of Protestant marriage reforms, and the striking similarity in this respect to concurrent Catholic measures, particularly in the actual formation and preservation of marriages.
Main Description
This book examines the impact of the Protestant Reformation on both the ideal and practice of marriage in sixteenth-century Germany. Combining extensive archival work with a broad synthesis of scholarly research in legal, theological, and social history, it provides the most comprehensive evaluation to date of the Reformation's impact on marriage. The author compares Protestant reforming goals and achievements to those of contemporary Catholics. All sixteenth-century campaigns to restore 'traditional family values', he argues, must be viewed in the context of more gradual social transformations in private morality, public authority, and familial relations. The apparent innovations of the reformers - including the abolition of clerical celibacy and introduction of divorce - fade in comparison to their much greater adherence to the theological, legal and social traditions shared with their Catholic ancestors and contemporaries.
Description for Bookstore
This book: 1) describes marriage in both theory (theological and legal) and practice in Reformation Germany; 2) puts the Protestant Reformation in its full social context; 3)provides broad synthesis of the latest international research on marriage, the family, gender and sexuality, statebuilding, and theology.
Description for Library
This book examines the impact of the Protestant Reformation on both the ideal and practice of marriage in sixteenth-century Germany. The author compares the goals and achievements of the reformers to those of contemporary Catholics. Any changes, he argues, must be viewed in the context of more gradual social transformations in private morality, public authority, and familial relations. The apparent innovations of the reformers - including the abolition of clerical celibacy and introduction of divorce - fade in comparison to their much greater adherence to the theological, legal and social traditions shared with their Catholic ancestors and contemporaries.
Table of Contents
The Nature and Origins of Sixteenth-Century Marriage Reform
Marriage reform and reformers
Marriage and the Church: the ideological reformation
Marriage and the state: the bureaucratic reformation
The Social Impact of Sixteenth-Century Marriage Reform
In loco parentis: public approval of private consent
'Against the marriage devil': sexual discipline and marital stability
Conclusions
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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