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date: 17 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that European history must be seen in a broader, de-centred global perspective and Protestant religion as discontinuous and contingent. It has supported diverse geographies of adherence, alliances between state and church or para-churches, patterns of adherence, internal hierarchies, inter-faith relations, attitudes towards science, or moral discourses on issues such as social inequality or ethnicized politics. It has since the Reformation often fostered its own intense preoccupations with sin and demonization, which has, for instance, explained illness or different mental states through sinfulness which allows evil to take control and corrupt the body and mind. Another enduring characteristic has been its many emotionally fuelled arguments about the contents of biblical scripture as well as who has authority as religious specialists. Accounts of the Reformation movements must attend to the pluralities of arguments and practices and move away from their assessment as either success or failure, ‘medieval’ or ‘modern’.

Keywords: Materiality, gender, religious pluralism, modernity, senses, emotions

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