Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Exorcist

One of our favorite illustrations of the liturgical conservatism that marked the Lutheran Reformation, except when and where Calvinism got involved:
A Saxon butcher in the late 1580s, determined to have his baby daughter baptized in the proper Lutheran manner, appeared in Dresden's Hofkirche armed with a meat cleaver.  He positioned himself next to the baptimal font and threatened to split the minister's head if he dared to omit the exorcism rite from the baptismal formula.  The girl, it seems safe to assume, was baptized in the proper Lutheran fashion -- with exorcism, even though Saxony's pro-Calvinist Elector Christian I only recently had decreed that it be eliminated altogether with other papal rituals still found in the Lutheran church of that principality.
-- Bodo Nischan, "Religious Polemics and Ritual in Early Modern Germany's Confessional Churches," in Theo Hettema & A. van der Kooij, ed., Religious Polemics in Context ... [2004]
For your own sake, if not for Christ's, people:  exorcise those illuminands!

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