The Life of Lady Johanna Eleonora Petersen, Written by Herself: Pietism and Women's Autobiography in Seventeenth-Century Germany

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University of Chicago Press, 2007 M11 1 - 168 pages
In a time when the Pauline dictum decreed that women be silent in matters of the Church, Johanna Eleonora Petersen (1644–1724) was a pioneering author of religious books, insisting on her right to speak out as a believer above her male counterparts. Publishing her readings of the Gospels and the Book of Revelation as well as her thoughts on theology in general, Petersen and her writings created controversy, especially in orthodox circles, and she became a voice for the radical Pietists—those most at odds with Lutheran ministers and their teachings. But she defended her lay religious calling and ultimately printed fourteen original works, including her autobiography, the first of its kind written by a woman in Germany—all in an age in which most women were unable to read or write.

Collected in The Life of Lady Johanna Eleonora Petersen are Petersen's autobiography and two shorter tracts that would become models of Pietistic devotional writing. A record of the status and contribution of women in the early Protestant church, this collection will be indispensable reading for scholars of seventeenth-century German religious and social history.

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Contents

From Noblewoman to Radical Pietist
1
Volume Editors Bibliography
45
The Life of Lady Johanna Eleonora Petersen née von und zu Merlau Wife of Dr Johann Wilhelm Petersen Written by Herself
59
Appendix A
99
Appendix B
103
Series Editors Bibliography
121
Index
135
Copyright

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Page 12 - But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit : but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
Page 111 - And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage : and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Page xiv - Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Page 34 - And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Page 36 - The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day ; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

About the author (2007)

Barbara Becker-Cantarino is research professor in German at The Ohio State University.

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