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Names and Naming in Early Modern Germany

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Volume 20

Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association

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Names and Naming in Early Modern Germany

Edited by Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer and Joel F. Harrington
Afterword by Randolph C. Head

280 pages, 6 tables, 12 color illus., 9 b&w illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-210-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-211-3 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The book offers unique insights into complex cultural processes, reframing some supposedly well-known areas of German history. Its wide topical scope allows it to explore a remarkable variety of naming processes in the early modern period.” • Johannes Dillinger, Oxford Brookes University

“These engaging and highly polished essays together speak to broader ways in which knowledge, political and religious movements, and other social arrangements came to define the history of early modern Europe.” • Philip M. Soergel, University of Maryland


Throughout the many political and social upheavals of the early modern era, names were words to conjure by, articulating significant historical trends and helping individuals and societies make sense of often dramatic periods of change. Centered on onomastics—the study of names—in the German-speaking lands, this volume, gathering leading scholars across multiple disciplines, explores the dynamics and impact of naming (and renaming) processes in a variety of contexts—social, artistic, literary, theological, and scientific—in order to enhance our understanding of individual and collective experiences.

Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer is the Susan C. Karant-Nunn Chair for Reformation and Early Modern European History in the Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies at the University of Arizona. Her publications include From Priest’s Whore to Pastor’s Wife: Clerical Marriage and the Process of Reform in the Early German Reformation (2012), She is co-editor of Ideas and Cultural Margins in Early Modern Germany: Essays in Honor of H. C. Erik Midelfort (2009), Archeologies of Reformation: Writing the German Reformation, 1517–2017 (2017), and Topographies of Tolerance and Intolerance: Responses to Religious Pluralism in Reformation Europe (2018).

Joel F. Harrington is Centennial Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. He has published seven books on various social, legal, and religious aspects of pre-modern Germany, including Dangerous Mystic: Meister Eckhart’s Path to the God Within (2018), and The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century (2013). He served as President of the Frühe Neuzeit Interdisziplinär from 2012-15 and hosted the society’s triennial conference at Vanderbilt in 2015.

Erratum: The publisher regrets an omission on pages 180-181. The missing text can be found here.

Subject: History: Medieval/Early Modern Cultural Studies (General)
Area: Germany


List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Text

Introduction: The Dynamics of Early Modern Naming
Joel F. Harrington


Chapter 1. Picards, Karlstadtians, and Oecolampadians: (Re)Naming the Early Eucharistic Controversy
Amy Nelson Burnett

Chapter 2. From the Council to the Founding Myth: How the Spirit of Trent Came to be Named
Birgit Emich

Chapter 3. Triplets: The Holy Roman Empire's Birthing of Catholics, Lutherans, and Reformed in 1648
David Mayes


Chapter 4. Naming and Singing the Psalter in Counter-Reformation Germany
Alexander J. Fisher

Chapter 5. Naming the Ambiguous: Income and Royal Service in the Seventeenth Century
Heiko Droste

Chapter 6. The Mystery of the St. Sebastian Lazareth: Mapping Place-Names and Contagious Disease Hospitals in Sixteenth-Century Nuremberg
Amy Newhouse

Chapter 7. Global Goods in Local Languages: Naming Cotton Textiles in the Swiss Cantons
John Jordan and Gabi Schopf


Chapter 8. Naming the Turk and the Moor: Prehistories of Race
Carina L. Johnson

Chapter 9. Denouncing the Spendthrift: Debating Social Identity in the Court of Law and Public Opinion
Ashley L. Elrod

Chapter 10. Confessionisten, Calvinisten, Tibben: Nomenclatures of Legal Exclusion in Northwestern Germany, 1535–1650
David M. Luebke

Afterword: Names All the Way Down: Naming Practices in Early Modern Germany and Early Modern Historiography
Randolph C. Head


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