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Reforming Space, Reordering Reality: Naumburg's Herren Gasse in the 1540s

Gerritdina (Ineke) Justitz
The Sixteenth Century Journal
Vol. 33, No. 3 (Autumn, 2002), pp. 625-648
DOI: 10.2307/4144017
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4144017
Page Count: 24
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Reforming Space, Reordering Reality: Naumburg's Herren Gasse in the 1540s
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Abstract

This essay examines the ritual use of space in the context of the antagonistic relationship between the magistrates and the cathedral chapter, and suggests that the distinct urban geography of Naumburg in the 1540s facilitated the manipulation, contestation, and assertion of different visions of governance and faith. By reversing an annual ritual expressing episcopal lordship, in September 1541 the pastor, several magistrates, teachers, students, and a crowd marched in procession from the civic center to the cathedral church. They forcefully entered the cathedral, after which the pastor preached the first Evangelical sermon in this bastion of Catholicism. Iconoclastic acts followed the sermon. Thus the Evangelicals of Naumburg rejected episcopal lordship in both its political and spiritual dimensions. In 1546 the Catholic bishop briefly reclaimed the city and reversed the events of 1541. However, Naumburgs geography sustained the local Evangelicals in their effort to deny the legitimacy of their Catholic lords.

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