Critic of power and advisor of princes: the court preacher in Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel 1568-1714

In Co-operation with the Interdisziplinären Institut für Kulturgeschichte der Frühen Neuzeit at the Universität Osnabrück (IKFN)

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Early modern court preachers acted at the interface of courtly pastoral care, scholarly theological discourse, executive power, political consulting and personal faith. They constituted an especially influential group within the variety of early modern elites. A closer examination of court preachers can broaden the understanding of political culture, modern state building and the development of church and theology between the 16th and 18th century.

Inquiring and examining the fields, scopes and conditions of action of the court preachers of the duchy of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel will be the aim of an interdisciplinary research project jointly organised by the Herzog August Bibliothek (HAB) Wolfenbüttel and the Interdisziplinäre Institut für Kulturgeschichte der Frühen Neuzeit (IKFN) at the University of Osnabrück. Within the framework of this project a monograph study is being composed at the HAB, dealing with the influential and combative court preacher Basilius Sattler (1549-1624), who was active for more than fifty years in the duchy of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. The study aims at reconstructing Sattler's fields of social interaction, his guiding principles and the strategies and forms which characterised his behaviour in order to gain a precise measure of his political scope of action. This study and a study concerning the court preacher Eberhard Finen shall be published as monographs in 2018. The study concerning the court preacher Joachim Lütkemann (1608-1655) by Christian Deuper is already available since 2013 (Wolfenbüttler Studien, 136).

An international conference with a transconfessional approach facilitated a scholarly exchange on court clergy in early modern Europe. The conference transcript was published in 2014 under the title "Religion – Macht – Politik. Hofgeistlichkeit im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit (1500–1800)". Extensive digitalization of important key sources in this field and an E-learning module are now available online via an internet portal. Seminars with students at the HAB and an international summer school are important didactic components offered by the research project to support young academics.



Eberhard Finen (1668-1726). Ein lutherischer Hofprediger zwischen Anpassung und Widerstand, ed. by Alexandra Faust (Beihefte zum Braunschweigischen Jahrbuch, Bd. 20), Braunschweig: Appelhans 2018.

Religion Macht Politik
. Hofgeistlichkeit im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit (1500–1800), ed. by Matthias Meinhardt, Ulrike Gleixner, Martin H. Jung and Siegrid Westphal (Wolfenbütteler Forschungen 137), Wiesbaden 2014.
Catalogue HAB Publications


Funding: Aided with research funds of the federal State of Lower Saxony
Duration: October 2009 – December 2017 (publications are still pending)
Contact: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Gleixner
Phone: +49(0)5331-808-246, Fax -277
Head of Project IKFN: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Adam, Prof. Dr. Siegrid Westphal, Prof. Dr. Martin Jung