Religious Reading in the Lutheran North: Studies in Early Modern Scandinavian Book Culture

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9781443826433: Religious Reading in the Lutheran North: Studies in Early Modern Scandinavian Book Culture

Religious Reading in the Lutheran North opens up the doors to a part of early modern European history that has often been overlooked. In the Nordic countries, an abundance of religious literature in the vernacular was produced in the centuries following the Reformation, and reading was almost exclusively taught to children in a Lutheran Protestant setting. Literacy rates were high, and by the mid eighteenth century around ninety per cent of both men and women could read. The eight contributions to the present book investigate different aspects of religious reading in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Greenland, looking at the publication and dissemination strategies of authors and clergymen, as well as reading habits and interpretations among Scandinavian readers.

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About the Author:

Dr Charlotte Appel is Associate Professor of Early Modern History at Roskilde University and is presently working as Chief Editor of a multi-volume history of elementary schools in Denmark, a project based at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University. Her research areas include the history of literacy and education, the history of the book and ecclesiastical and cultural history. Dr Morten Fink-Jensen is Associate Professor of History at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, currently working on a multi-volume history of Danish schools. He is also an affiliated research fellow at the Royal Library in Copenhagen. He has published on ecclesiastical and cultural history, as well as the history of religion and science in early modern Denmark.

Review:

This excellent collection of essays underlines the significant role of Lutheranism in generating a culture of reading and high levels of literacy in the Nordic countries in the early modern period. For anyone interested in the culture of reading and literacy in the early modern period this volume of essays on the Lutheran North is important reading. --Ole Peter Grell, Reader in History, The Open University

The Scandinavian kingdoms were famously literate. Yet it is far from clear how these essentially rural societies achieved such impressive rates of reading ability. This outstanding collection of essays draws together a range of sophisticated and original studies, probing the reading practice, pedagogy, oral and print cultures of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Greenland between the 16th and the 18th centuries. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in this critical aspect of Early Modern Society. --Andrew Pettegree, Professor of Modern History, University of St Andrews

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Charlotte Appel and Morten Fink-Jensen
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Charlotte Appel and Morten Fink-Jensen
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