Passion Devotion in the Sixteenth Century

Vincent Evener’s research examines how traditions of devotion to the passion and associated meditative techniques were transformed and deployed in the sixteenth century by religious leaders seeking to shape Christian selves capable of navigating a divided Christendom.  The themes highlighted in passion books, and the practices commended to Christians, were constantly adapted to meet new contextual challenges, resulting in diverse but ever malleable forms of passion devotion in Lutheran, Reformed, and Catholic contexts.  Dr. Evener is especially interested in the depiction of human hearts (or sometimes souls) as vulnerable to divine and demonic influences, through relations to other human beings and the supernatural realm, and in how Christians were taught to open themselves to the right influences and close themselves to the wrong ones.  His research at the Herzog August Bibliothek focusses primarily on Lutheran and Catholic books of the later sixteenth and early seventeenth century.  For more information about Dr. Evener’s research, teaching, and publication, please visit his faculty page: