«Hör nicht auf zu singen» : Zeuginnen der Schweizer Reformation

9783290178505Welche Rolle spielten Frauen während der Reformation? Was bedeutete es für Katharina Schütz Zell oder Idelette de Bure, «Gefährten im Dienst» zu sein? Und inwiefern war Margarete Blarer aus Konstanz eine Ausnahmeerscheinung?

Zum 500-Jahr-Jubiläum der Reformation haben Autorinnen und Autoren die Frauen und ihre Anliegen im Blick und lenken die Aufmerksamkeit auf überraschende Aspekte der Sozialgeschichte. Neben Zeugnissen von selbständigen Frauen wird dem Einfluss der Reformation auf die Frauen- und Männerrolle sowie auf das Ehe- und Familienverständnis Raum gegeben. Neue Ehe- und Gesellschaftsideen und deren Wirkung kommen ebenfalls zur Sprache. Nicht zuletzt ist es ein Buch über die tragischen Schicksale von prominenten, aber auch völlig unbekannten Frauen, die der Reformation zum Opfer fielen.

Mit Beiträgen von Karla Apperloo-Boersma, Urte Bejick, Christine Christ-von Wedel, Rebecca Giselbrecht, Isabelle Graesslé, Susan Karant-Nunn, Elsie McKee, Helmut Puff, Sabine Scheuter, Kirsi Stjerna.

TVZ has graciously sent a copy for review without any expectations concerning the review’s negative or positive take on the volume.

Everyone is familiar with the chief (male) protagonists of the Reformation: Zwingli, Calvin, Luther, Melanchthon, Bucer, Oecolampadius, etc.  And some folk have heard of Anna Zwingli or Katie Luther.  But few have ever had the opportunity of being exposed to the chief women of the Reformation.

Who they were and what they did matters, so this is a welcome volume.  It isn’t, though, simply a series of biographies of women; rather it investigates the broader question of women during the Reformation and their contributions to it.

The first section of the volume, then, intriguingly introduces the significance of witnesses of various sorts to the Reformation.  The second turns to an investigation of Reformation thought and women, with particular emphasis on Erasmus’s views on women and 16th century portraits of important women.

The third segment is more extensive than the previous as it concerns the witnesses of the Swiss Reformation who happen to have been women and how they ‘feed’ the ‘river’ of Reformation thought.   Here we are treated to the life stories of Katharina Zell, Idelette de Bure, Ursula Jost, Margaretha Preuss, Marie Dentiere, and Margarete Blarer.

The final section widens the focus once more to bring us full circle with its discussion of men and women as men and women during the 16th century.

The volume concludes with a bibliography and table of images as well as very brief bylines of the volume’s numerous contributors.

The Reformation is big business these days.  Luther especially is being treated to more publicity than he’s had since 1521.  It is, accordingly, very important that we be reminded that the Reformation wasn’t just about men, nor were its most important actors always men.  The Reformation was a massive event which necessitated the participation of armies of theologians and supporters.  They are often forgotten but they shouldn’t be.

This book serves the purpose of reminding us that women played an invaluable role in the most important theological movement since the days of the Apostles.  The authors and editors are to be thanked for it and so is the publisher, for realizing both the importance of the topic and the need for it to be disseminated.

I recommend this book without reservation.

The Direct Phone Numbers of White House Staff

Once upon a time, if you had a problem with something the President was doing, you could call up the White House’s public comments line and complain to a staffer about it. Whether or not that grievance got heard is up for debate, but at least you could try. Of course, President Trump doesn’t want to hear your SAD LOSER WHINING, so that public comments line got shut down, and folks with problems are urged to send messages through Facebook Messenger or whitehouse.gov/comment, where they are certain to disappear into the ether. As an alternative, an anonymous group of concerned citizens have compiled a resource full of White House phone numbers, so you can flood Team Trump with all of your outraged feedback.

The resource, cheekily dubbed “White House Comment Line,” was aggregated by an anonymous group who wanted to make sure the public could still send a message to the White House. “Open communication is the foundation of a good, functioning democracy,” a spokesperson for the group told Gothamist in a statement. “But it’s a two-way street. Right now there’s ‘information’ coming out of the White House to the people, but not much the other way around. They may have shut down the comment line, but we the people still have comments. In light of that, we wanted to create one way for the people to be heard.”

+1 (202) 456-1259
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Trump Supporters Lack a Plan…

Explaining that he wanted to be prepared for any unforeseen outcome, local Donald Trump supporter Fred McGuire, 52, said Tuesday that he has a few backup scapegoats ready to go in case the president’s planned aggressive policing and monitoring policies aimed at immigrants don’t fix everything. “I’m expecting the mass deportations, forced registrations, indefinite detainment without trial, and expanded surveillance to solve every conceivable problem, but just to be safe, I’ve got a handful of other groups I’m ready to demonize,” said McGuire, adding that he is prepared to shift his outrage to welfare recipients, environmental activists, and possibly liberal college professors if Trump’s immigration policies fail to profoundly reduce crime and improve the economy. “Obviously, Obama’s legacy is going to take a lot of the blame no matter what happens, and when people ask me why there’s hardly been any blue-collar job creation, I can also throw out labor unions and political correctness. Yeah, I’ve got enough scapegoat ideas to get me through the next four, maybe eight years.” McGuire went on to say that he wasn’t considering scapegoating Jews just yet, but would wait to see how the next few years play out.


An Open Letter to Senators Corker and Alexander, TN


Put simply, your vote for DeVos is a vote for ignorance, incompetence, and unintelligence.  You pandered to a wealthy contributor and in essence you did nothing but sell your votes, and the American educational system.

I have had ample opportunities over the years to be ashamed of, and frankly disgusted with you.  Your abject toadyism and your willingness to vote against the interests of America simply to retain power have provided more than enough fodder for the disgust mill.  But this time you have voted against our children and their future and I condemn you for it.

Not only will I not support any effort you may undertake to return to office, I will do whatever I can to see that you are not allowed to represent Tennessee again to so much as a convention of despicable failures.

You are the worst examples of public service Tennessee has ever sent to Washington.  I am ashamed of you and sickened by you.

Theologians Who Resist Nazis: Otto Dibelius

dibeliusFind out here all there is to find out about this brilliant theologian and, because brilliant, foe of Nazism.

Dibelius schließt sich der bekennenden Kirche an, die sich 1934 in der Barmer Theologischen Erklärung unmissverständlich von der falschen Lehre der „Deutschen Christen“ distanziert. Von Beginn an ist er Mitglied des Pfarrernotbundes um Martin Niemöller und Kurt Scharf. In einem offenen Brief an Reichskirchenminister Kerrl 1937 weist er den Versuch, den Staat zur Kirche zu machen und über Predigt und Glaubensbekenntnis zu kontrollieren, entschieden zurück: „…wenn der Staat darauf abzielt, die Kirche selbst zu sein und seine Macht auf die Seele der Menschen und die Lehre der Kirche zu erstrecken, dann sind wir, um Luthers Wort zu gebrauchen, in Gottes Namen dazu verpflichtet, Widerstand zu leisten, und es besteht kein Zweifel darüber, daß wir entsprechend handeln werden.“ Er wird daraufhin wegen des Vorwurfs des Verstoßes gegen das Heimtückegesetz verhaftet und vor Gericht gestellt. Der Richter spricht ihn jedoch frei, sodass ihm die Inhaftierung im Konzentrationslager erspart bleibt.

dibelius2In der Bekennenden Kirche ändert sich auch seine Einstellung zu den Juden. In einem Rundbrief von 1928 bezeichnete er sich selbst noch als Antisemiten. Es ist kein Antijudaismus, sondern durchaus ein rassischer Antisemitismus, wenn er dort schreibt, „dass bei allen zersetzenden Erscheinungen der modernen Zivilisation das Judentum eine führende Rolle“ spiele. Im selben Brief heißt es jedoch zugleich: „Das Völkische, … aus der Verbindung mit dem christlichen Glauben herausgenommen, verfällt einer Hemmungslosigkeit, die die nicht minder verhängnisvoll ist als das, was dadurch bekämpft werden soll.“ Ihm wird bewusst, dass die nationalsozialistische Verleumdung Jesu als „Judenlümmel“ zugleich das Christentum verneint. Unter Gefahr für sich selbst und seine Mitarbeiter gelingt es Dibelius, während des Krieges zwei „Nichtarier“ im Büro des Gustav-Adolf-Vereins zu verstecken.

The Confessing Church has a lot to teach American theologians about resisting tyranny.