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Author: Subject: Malinkowa, Lubina: Pietism and the Sorbs. Modernisation through Belief
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[*] posted on 10-6-2016 at 09:49 PM
Malinkowa, Lubina: Pietism and the Sorbs. Modernisation through Belief

Lětopis Abstract 2015 2: Malinkowa, Lubina: Pietism and the Sorbs. Modernization through Belief

Pietism in the 18th Century fundamentally changed Sorbian, Protestant society. The most decisive influence was the pietism of Herrnhut, which was characterized by the heavy involvement of the laity. Extensive educational processes were instituted under its influence; the written word gained ground in Sorbian society, which up until then had been based to a large extent on oral traditions. The increasing use of the written word enabled and accelerated pluralization and social differentiation among the Protestant Sorbs. Competing groups emerged within the Protestant community, which had an invigorating effect on the Sorbian book market.

The Upper Lusatian aristocracy played a large part in these modernization processes, led by the chief administrative official, Holy Roman Imperial Count Friedrich Caspar von Gersdorf, a distant cousin of Nikolaus Ludwig of Zinzendorf. Gersdorf supported the religious lay movement, encouraged the printing of numerous religious books and founded a number of schools. The Klix seminary and the Uhyst institutes, two institutions, which were founded particularly with Sorbian students in mind, offering an in-depth academic and vocational education, are particularly important from a cultural and historical point of view.

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