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Hamm, B. Abschied vom Epochendenken in der Reformationsforschung. Ein Plädoyer. Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, 39(3), 373-411.
Hamm, Berndt "Abschied vom Epochendenken in der Reformationsforschung. Ein Plädoyer" Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung 39.3, , 373-411.
Hamm, Berndt: Abschied vom Epochendenken in der Reformationsforschung. Ein Plädoyer, in: Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, vol. 39, iss. 3, 373-411, [online]


Abschied vom Epochendenken in der Reformationsforschung. Ein Plädoyer

Hamm, Berndt

Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, Vol. 39 (2012), Iss. 3 : pp. 373–411

2 Citations (CrossRef)

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Prof. Dr. Berndt Hamm, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Fachbereich Theologie, Kochstraße 6, 91054 Erlangen.

Cited By

  1. Johann Bader


    2020 [Citations: 0]
  2. Glaube und Geschlecht

    Buben, Hausväter und neue Mönche. Reformatorische Männlichkeiten

    Schmidt-Funke, Julia A.

    2019 [Citations: 0]


The Case against Macrohistorical Periodization in the Study of the Reformation

This essay takes a critical view of the way in which the span between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries is conventionally divided into periods, i. e., it criticizes the terms “Middle Ages”, “Late Middle Ages”, “Neuzeit”, “Frühe Neuzeit”, “Renaissance”, “Reformation”, “pre-modern”, “early modern” and “modern period”. These macrohistorical constructs, it argues, are misleading, for they create the illusion that the history of the West is a succession of relatively uniform eras separated by clear breaks and giving evidence of a purposeful, linear “development” that connects the pre-modernity of the early Middle Ages with the modernity of the Enlightenment. To be sure, it makes sense to contrast the sixteenth-century Reformation with the church, theology, and piety of the preceding centuries. However, we are ill-advised to interpret this religious “system break” as a change of eras of universal validity, for on the one hand, the Reformation sustained an already existing momentum of change, but on the other, it left many areas of culture unchanged. Viewed in this light, it was neither medieval, nor early modern, nor was it a period of its own between the Middle Ages and the modern period. Instead, it was a far reaching reconfiguration of one part of the Western church between 1520 and 1560, an event that, on the one hand, remained deeply rooted in the past, and, on the other, pointed towards the future.