Lay Prophets in Lutheran Europe (c. 1550–1700)
Jürgen Beyer, Tartu University Library, Estonia
Lay prophets in Lutheran Europe (c. 1550–1700) is the first transnational study of the phenomenon of angelic apparitions in all Lutheran cultures of early modern Europe. Jürgen Beyer provides evidence for more than 350 cases and analyses the material in various ways: tracing the medieval origins, studying the spread of news about prophets, looking at the performances legitimising their calling, noting their comments on local politics, following the theological debates about prophets, and interpreting the early modern notions of holiness within which prophets operated. A full chronology and bibliography of all cases concludes the volume. Beyer demonstrates that lay prophets were an accepted part of Lutheran culture and places them in their social, political and confessional contexts.