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N.2/2017 Riforme religiose, rivoluzioni politiche

Riformare la Riforma? La Chiesa alla prova della Storia nel pietismo tedesco

Stefania Salvadori

Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

Akademie der Wissenschaften Göttingen

Published in December, 2017

Riforme religiose Rivoluzioni politiche.

Reforming the Reformation? Church and the Challenge of History in German Pietism


The contribution explores and compares the diverse models of Reformation within the early modern German Pietism. The Father of the movement, Philipp Jakob Spener, outlined a program for renewal in the church, which included devotional study of the Bible, mutual religious edification, emphasis on morality and a clearer recognition of the laity’s role in Christian witness. His eschatological hope and expectation for “better times” urged all true Christians to gather in small conventicles and achieve so conversion, spiritual rebirth and sanctification. Apocalyptic and chiliastic ideas became the pivotal point in the heterogeneous group of the “radical Pietism”. Taking inspiration from several spiritualistic traditions and promoting a mystical interpretation of the Scripture, radical Pietism understood the spiritual rebirth in terms of a unio mystica and a progressive renovation both of the soul and of the body and aimed to organize the invisible chiliastic Church outside of and often opposed to the established Lutheran churches.


Pietism, Chiliasm, spiritual Rebirth, Regeneration, Confessionalism, Spiritualism

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