Late medieval German prayer books: religious consciousness of the turn of the 15–16th centuries

Logutova, M. G.
Pozdnesrednevekovye nemetskoyazychnye molitvenniki, religioznoe soznanie rubezha XIV–XV vv. [Late Medieval German Prayer Books: Religious Consciousness of the Turn of the 14–15th Centuries], in: Proslogion: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Social History and Culture. 2017. Vol. 3 (2). P. 5174.

Margarita Georgievna Logutova, PhD in History, senior scientific researcher, Manuscript Department of the National Library of Russia (191023, Rossiya, Sankt-Petersburg, ploshad’ Ostrovskogo, 1/3)

Language: Russian

In the late Middle Ages, the most accessible way of communicating with God was prayer. The texts of prayers fixed in handwritten prayer books, these most personal and most read books, reveal the spiritual world of the Middle Ages in the closest approximation to reality. 1470–1525 years became the peak of prayer-making, the time when a huge number of new prayers were created. The religious processes taking place at that time in Germany were adequately reflected in handwritten prayer books. The texts of prayers clearly followed the basic tendencies of the religious consciousness of society and equally clearly indicated the changes that had taken place in them. This thesis finds confirmation in the three German-language prayer books stored in the Russian National Library, created in the second half of the 15th – first quarter of the 16th century. The texts contained in them show that in studying the reasons for the rapid spread of 95 Luther theses in Germany, along with social, political and technological (book printing) factors, it is also necessary to take into account the religious consciousness of literate Germans, raised by late medieval German-speaking prayer books.

Key Words: devotio moderna, handwritten book, Luther, St. Anna, the Virgin Mary, Christ


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