Obedient Heretics: Mennonite Identities in Lutheran Hamburg and Altona During the Confessional Age, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Obedient Heretics

Mennonite Identities in Lutheran Hamburg and Altona During the Confessional Age, 1st Edition

By Michael D. Driedger


224 pages

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Hardback: 9780754602927
pub: 2002-01-10
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This case study examines the history of the Netherlandic Mennonite community living in and around Hamburg after the Thirty Years War. Based on detailed archival research, it expands the scope of Radical Reformation studies to include the confessional age (c. 1550-1750). During this period Mennonites had to conform politically while trying to preserve many of the nonconformist ideals of their forebears, such as the refusal to baptize children, bear arms and swear solemn oaths. The research presented in Obedient Heretics will, therefore, be of interest to scholars of minority communities in addition to those concerned with the Reformation's legacy, confessionalization and confessional identity.


'Readers will find a mine of information in Obedient Heretics… Driedger's book invites discussion and debate. HIs meticulous scholarship and even-handed interpretation reveal him to be a scholar par excellence. Mennonites are fortunate to have such talent and dedication interested in their history.' The Conral Grebel Review '… solidly founded on an exhaustive and careful analysis of the abundant archival resources in Germany and the Netherlands… in addition this learned study also offers a new model for the historical analysis of the socioreligious life of Mennonites (and other religious minorities) in the post-Reformation era, superseding the older historiographical tradition.' The Mennonite Quarterly Review '… a useful contribution ot Mennonite history and to the study of post-Reformation Europe.' Sixteenth Century Journal 'Based on impressive archival research, Obedient Heretics sheds new light on important details about Mennonites in northern Europe and also brings to the surface older material that has long since been lost to English-language historiography.' The Mennonite Quarterly Review '… a valuable contribution both to the study of early modern confessionalization and to the history of the Anabaptist movement after the end of its initial radical phase… provides a fascinating picture of the unfolding of a confessionalization process that was not in any immediate sense linked with government authority.' German History

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; Confessional migration: the dispersion of Anabaptists to Northern Germany; The short-lived ceremonialism of the Dompelaars; The confessionalist strategy of Flemish leaders; Mennonite confessionalization and beyond: polemics and the articulation of a conformist ideology; A conformist brand of nonresistance: controversies and silences; The nonswearing of solemn oaths: official accounts versus everyday behaviours; Mixed marriages and social change; Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

St Andrews Studies in Reformation History

With the publication of its 100th book in 2012, the St Andrews Studies in Reformation Studies series celebrated an impressive publishing achievement. Since its establishment in 1995 the series has consistently offered high-quality, innovative and thought-provoking research in the field of early modern religious history. By encouraging authors to adopt a broad and inclusive interpretation of ’Reformation’, the resultant publications have done much to help shape current interdisciplinary interpretations of early-modern religion, expanding attention far beyond narrow theological concerns. Each title within the series has added to a body of international research showing how the ripples of the Reformation spread to virtually every corner of European society, both Protestant and Catholic, and often beyond. From family life, education, literature, music, art and philosophy, to political theory, international relations, economics, colonial ventures, science and military matters, there were few aspects of life that remained untouched in some way by the spirit of religious reform. As well as widening conceptions of the Reformation, the series has for the last fifteen years provided a publishing outlet for work, much of it by new and up-and-coming scholars who might otherwise have struggled to find an international platform for their work. Alongside these monographs, a complementary selection of edited volumes, critical editions of important primary sources, bibliographical studies and new translations of influential Reformation works previously unavailable to English speaking scholars, adds further depth to the topic. By offering this rich mix of approaches and topics, the St Andrews series continues to offer scholars an unparalleled platform for the publication of international scholarship in a dynamic and often controversial area of historical study.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General