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    Mapping the memory of Luther: place and confessional identity in the later Reformation

    Hill, Katherine (2020) Mapping the memory of Luther: place and confessional identity in the later Reformation. German History 38 (2), pp. 187-210. ISSN 0266-3554.

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    In 1571 two mapmakers, Johannes Mellinger and Tilemann Stella, produced a map of the county of Mansfeld, Luther’s birthplace. This article considers this map as a complex printed material object; it is far more than a straightforward representation of place, since it is covered with historical details, quotes, writing, and references to Luther’s life, the Reformation and Mansfeld’s history. It created a notion of Lutheran space and used this space as a form of memory-making and memorialisaton at a critical time in Lutheran history. The decades following the death of Luther in 1546 were a time of crisis, when Lutheranism faced an uncertain future and grief at the loss of the Wittenberg reformer, while also attempting to establish itself on the confessional map of sixteenth-century Europe. Mellinger and Stella’s map of Mansfeld reveals how second-generation Lutherans reconceptualiased the landscape to address the problem of providing an alternative way of writing Luther’s life, and how Lutherans could integrate pasts and places which were not specifically Lutheran into a providential narrative. The map addressed the ambiguities of old and new with its composite, hybrid form that combined space, events, and person, and it historicised and re-imagined space. This map demands that we think about how space functioned within a culture which wanted to remember Luther’s life and write histories in a way that could validate Lutheranism and its future, and in particular it focuses our attention on how memory-making, at this specific point of existential concern, shaped the Lutheran church.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Reformaton, Germany, Luther, space
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Katherine Hill
    Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2018 15:22
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:46


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