Astrology and Reformation by Robin B. Barnes

By Robin B. Barnes

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

During the 16th century, no a part of the Christian West observed the advance of a extra strong and pervasive astrological tradition than the very domestic of the Reformation movement--the Protestant cities of the Holy Roman Empire. whereas newest techniques to the spiritual and social reforms of that age supply scant realization to cosmological preoccupations, Robin Barnes argues that astrological strategies and imagery performed a key function in getting ready the floor for the evangelical flow sparked by means of Martin Luther within the 1520s, in addition to in shaping the particular features of German evangelical tradition over the next century.

Spreading peculiarly via reasonable published 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; while, it sought to flooring humans extra squarely in sensible concerns of way of life. The paintings won exceptional sanction from Luther's closest affiliate, Philipp Melanchthon, whose teachings stimulated 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 ordinary symptoms that may later seem as rank superstitions. now not until eventually the early 17th century did Luther's heirs event a "crisis of piety" that compelled preachers and stargazers to half ways.

Astrology and Reformation illuminates an early smooth outlook that used to be either useful and prophetic; an international that was once neither frequently enchanted nor rationally disappointed, yet really various from the medieval global of notion it had displaced.

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