Strom, Jonathan  Orthodoxy and Reform: The Clergy in Seventeenth Century Rostock
1999. IX, 282 pages. BHTh 111

ISBN 978-3-16-147191-9
cloth € 94.00

Jonathan Strom

Orthodoxy and Reform: The Clergy in Seventeenth Century Rostock

More than one hundred years after the introduction of the Reformation, the clergy in Rostock set out to reform the spiritual and moral life of the city and fashion it into a new Zion. Disappointed with the results of the Lutheran Reformation, their reform efforts were less concerned with confessional purity than with the practice of Christian piety. The resulting reform movement in Rostock became one of the most vigorous in 17th century Germany.
Jonathan Strom examines the consequences of the Reformation, the clergy’s social and economic status, the career path of a typical pastor, and the theological basis of the office of ministry. He recounts the practical reforms sought by the clergy in Rostock after the Thirty Years War. He further analyzes the theological proposals of the four principal reformers in Rostock, Joachim Schröder, Johannes Quistorp the Younger, Theophil Großgebauer, and Heinrich Müller.
Against many of the major trends of the confessional age in which the state assumed ever greater control over the ecclesiastical apparatus and a bureaucratization of the clergy occurred, the Rostock clergy sought to widen the scope of their authority within the city and assert their independence. They had, however, only limited success in implementing their reforms. The ideas of the Rostock reformers would decisively influence Pietist leaders such as Philipp Jakob Spener and August Hermann Francke. Their history extends our understanding of the function of the Protestant clergy in the post-Reformation era and offers a new estimation of Lutheran orthodoxy on the eve of the Pietist movement.

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