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Images, ’Superstition’, and Popular Piety in Post-Reformation Sweden

Journal article
Authors Terese Zachrisson
Published in Mirator
Volume 19
Issue 1
ISSN 1457-2362
Publication year 2018
Published at
Language en
Links https://journal.fi/mirator/article/...
Subject categories History, History and Archaeology

Abstract

Though the Lutheran church in Sweden never sought to ban pre-reformation images from church space, these objects remained controversial and provoked a variety of different responses from clergy and parishioners throughout the early modern era. Some images continued to be venerated as vessels of supernatural power, albeit in new contexts. Seventeenth-century vicars often tolerated or even condoned popular practices that their superiors deemed superstitious or idolatrous. Among the clerical élite images were not always considered to be adiaphora — as was stated in the Church Ordinance — but some images were believed to be harmful in themselves in provoking unwanted responses among parishioners.

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