The Reformation of the Dead

Death and Ritual in Early Modern Germany, 1450–1700

  • Craig M. Koslofsky

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Death, Ritual and the Reformation

    1. Craig M. Koslofsky
      Pages 1-15
  3. Separating the Living from the Dead

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Craig M. Koslofsky
      Pages 19-39
  4. The Lutheran Funeral Ritual to 1700

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 79-79
    2. Craig M. Koslofsky
      Pages 81-114
    3. Craig M. Koslofsky
      Pages 153-159
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 160-223

About this book


Koslofsky examines the human encounter with death in Germany from the eve of the Reformation to the rise of Pietism. The Protestant Reformation transformed the funeral more profoundly than any other ritual of the traditional church. Luther's doctrine of salvation 'by faith alone' made the foundation of the traditional funeral, intercession for the dead in Purgatory, obsolete. By drawing on anthropological interpretations of death ritual, this study explores the changing relationships between the body, the soul, the living and the dead in the daily life of early modern Germany.


body church corpus death drawing event German history history of literature interpret living Martin Luther reformation seventeenth century tradition

Authors and affiliations

  • Craig M. Koslofsky
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisUrbana-ChampaignUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-39854-6
  • Online ISBN 978-0-230-28637-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site