The rhetoric of power in the funeral sermons of the Palatinate sovereigns of the second half of the 16th century: elector Ludwig VI

Berezhnaya, N. A. Ritorika vlasti v nadgrobnykh propovedyakh pfaltsskikh gosudarey vtoroy poloviny XVI v.: Kurfyurst Lyudvig VI [The rhetoric of power in the funeral sermons of the Palatinate sovereigns of the second half of the 16th century: elector Ludwig VI], in: Proslogion: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Social History and Culture, 2020. Vol. 6 (1). P. 97–126.

Natal`ya Aleksandrovna Berezhnaya, doctor of History, senior lecturer, Institute of History, St. Petersburg State University (199034, Rossiya, Sankt-Petersburg, Mendeleevskaya liniya, 5)

Language: Russian

The article examines the funeral sermons on the death of the Palatinate Elector Ludwig VI (1576–1583). Since the middle of the 16th century, a biographical note appears in funeral sermons, in which the deceased almost always appears as a true Christian and, if the text is dedicated to a prince, as a righteous ruler. Funeral sermons are often published; they are beginning to be used as reference books in theology, grammar, history, and also as an instrument of confessional propaganda and rhetoric of power. In the context of the confessional struggle in Germany in the 16th — early 17th centuries between Lutheranism, Calvinism and Catholicism, theologians tried in every possible way to accentuate the religious views of the deceased princes: this was especially important for German Protestants, since in the Protestant tradition the prince was perceived as the father of his subjects (Landesvater), who was responsible for them souls. In the Electoral Palatinate in the second half of the 16th century, the confessional «vector of development» repeatedly changed. During the reign of Otto Heinrich, the Lutheran doctrine was approved, Frederick III introduced Calvinism in 1563, Ludwig VI returned the Evangelical doctrine in 1576, but his early death and the infancy of his successor allowed the regent Johann Casimir, the youngest son of Frederick III, to finally confirm the Reformed doctrine in the Palatinate. The author analyses the confessional propaganda and rhetoric of power in the funeral sermons composed by Johann and Paul Schechs, and Jacob Heilbrunner. Their study allows us to assert that the main task of Lutheran theologians was representation of the deceased patron and protect «the main work of his life» — the unity of the Evangelical princes of the Holy Roman Empire, the Formula of Concord. Key words: funeral sermon (Leichenpredigt), rhetoric of power, religious denomination (Konfession), Ludwig VI, Johannes Schechsius (Johann Schechs), Paulus Schechsius (Paul Schechs), Jacob Heilbrunner


DOI: 10.24411/2500-0926-2021-00004

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