The evangelical sermon was the Protestant Reformation’s central ritual event and the catalyst for a host of other changes, ranging from the abolition of the Mass to acts of violent iconoclasm. In promoting the sermon, reformers in Germany and Switzerland were in continuity with trends in medieval preaching, but at the same time the new centrality given to the preached word fundamentally altered the worship experience, particularly the aural experience. The present investigation traces the contours of the preaching landscape in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, outlines the innovations in sermonizing in Reformation Switzerland and Germany, and, by way of conclusion, suggests how these changes affected people’s public and devotional lives in two concrete ways. The reformation of Christian preaching that was at the heart of the evangelical movements of the sixteenth century not only transformed worship soundscapes in the West, resulting in a fundamentally different type of worship experience for early modern Protestants, but also impacted religious life, practice, and culture more broadly.
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"The Reformation of Preaching: Transformations of Worship Soundscapes in Early Modern Germany and Switzerland,"
Yale Journal of Music & Religion:
2, Article 2.