Abstract

While the majority of donations to Lutheran churches during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was made by locals, foreigners not living in the parish contributed gifts, too. There were, firstly, donations made accidentally to the parish in question such as funeral monuments in the case of sudden death. Secondly, a large group of donations reflected attendance of a particular church, be that through economic connections, through former ties or family ties to the parish, or through prayers granted in the case of votive churches. A third group is characterized by attempts to stress the status of individuals or institutions, underlining, for instance, chartered rights of foreigners, territorial dependency of a village or the role of a church patron. Royal gifts, burial monuments in churches of central importance and war trophies should also be placed in this group. A fourth group might be termed charity for parishes in need. These groups partly overlapped. The donations discussed also contain examples of unintended and unacceptable gifts, while anonymous giving obviously does not betray much of its background. Since scholars have preferred to study parishes in local or regional perspectives, donations by foreigners have mostly been overlooked. When studying all Lutheran countries, however, it becomes evident that donations by foreigners occurred regularly and that parishes interacted lively with the wider world. They were not the self-contained units as they have often been portrayed.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1897
Print ISSN
0022-4529
Pages
pp. 196-221
Launched on MUSE
2013-09-11
Open Access
No
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