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book reviews327 faith." The study still needs to show how central a"political ethic" is in this field of tension. Eric W Grttsch Baltimore, Maryland Conflicting Visions of Reform: German Lay Propaganda Pamphlets, 15191530 . By Miriam Usher Chrisman. [Studies in German Histories.] (Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1996. Pp. xiii, 288. $60.00.) More than 5,000 pamphlets were pubUshed in the Holy Roman Empire between 1519 and 1530; they have become avaUable, over the past two decades, in several microfiche and printed editions for historians of the Reformation. Close to hatf of aU pamphlets pubUshed represented the works of Martin Luther; many more were penned by lesser reformers and their detractors; and only 294 pamphlets clearly stemmed from lay provenance, as Chrisman's meticulous examination of the material reveals. Focusing on this substantial sample of lay pamphlets (which constitutes nonetheless only 5.8% of aU Reformation pamphlets produced), Chrisman sets out to "first place the lay pamphlets in the social and intellectual context in which they were written, and second to demonstrate how the ideas of the Reformation were changed and adapted as they were transmitted to dUferent ranks in the social hierarchy" (p. 14). She succeeds better in her first aim than her second . Using a formalistic analysis, Chrisman classifies her database by the pamphleteers ' social estate, grouping them into five categories: knights, patricians, city secretaries and university graduates, minor civU servants and men with specialized skiUs, and artisans. (The fact that fifty-four pamphlets of the 294 appeared anonymously poses an ku^pretive problem for this formalistic analysis, a dUficulty that Chrisman does not resolve.) With each category of pamphlets, Chrisman analyzes the rhetorical strategy,the citations, and the content Ui order to estabUsh clear conceptual distinctions between them. Several results of this laborious analysis are of great interest: direct quotations of Luther seldom show up in the pamphlets, and pamphlets written by artisans marufest the highest proportion of bibUcal references. Other conclusions seem more obvious: references to Roman and canon law come up most often in pamphlets composed by university-trained professionals, whUe noble and patrician authors paid greater attention to questions of Empire and Universal Church. Chrisman is less successful in demonstrating how the Reformation message was transmitted and interpreted dUferently beyond stating that each social group assimUated the evangeUcal revolt according to its own social context and interests.This is a rather mechanical view of the interaction between ideas and social structure and reflects perhaps the rigid appUcation of a methodology of classification and formal analysis better suited to other topics, such as the author 's earlier study of book production in Strasbourg (Lay Culture, Learned 328BOOK REVIEWS Culture: Books and Social Change in Strasbourg, 1480-1599 [New Haven, 1982]). Many of the styUstic and thematic dtfferences in the pamphlets, which Chrisman interprets by reference to social stratification, can also be explained by the contingent function of Reformation pamphlets: they represented propaganda , aimed to sway, inflame, and mobUize the reading public into action, whether it be the justification of Sickingen's revolt or the barely concealed caU to anticlerical riots. By privUeging a formalistic analysis over a more nuanced contextual analysis (which would necessitate the use of different kinds of sources), Conflicting Visions ofReform misses the exciting anarchy and possibilities that marked the early Reformation years. R. Po-chia Hsia New York University Theatine Spirituality: Selected Writings. Translated, edited and with an introduction and notes by WiUiam V Hudon. [The Classics ofWestern Spkituality ] (New York and Mahwah, New Jersey: PauUst Press. 1996. Pp. xx, 287. $22.95 paperback.) Students of sixteenth-century spirituaUty wiU be grateful for this volume because it provides a fine introduction and EngUsh translation of the major writings of three members of the Theatine order in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.The actual texts consist of the "Rule of Carafa" by Gian Pietro Carafa (1476-1559), who was later elected Pope Paul IV; the Letters of Gaetano daThiene (ca. 1480- 1547), known as St. Cajetan after his canonization; and Lorenzo ScupoU's (1530-1610) augmented edition ofSpiritual Combat (Il combattimento spirituale),which appeared shortly before his death.The translations are readable and the end notes are helpful. The...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 327-328
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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