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Church Mother

The Writings of a Protestant Reformer in Sixteenth-Century Germany

Edited and Translated by Elsie McKee

Church Mother

The Writings of a Protestant Reformer in Sixteenth-Century Germany

Edited and Translated by Elsie McKee
Imbued with character and independence, strength and articulateness, humor and conviction, abundant biblical knowledge and intense compassion, Katharina Schütz Zell (1498–1562) was an outspoken religious reformer in sixteenth-century Germany who campaigned for the right of clergy to marry and the responsibility of lay people—women as well as men—to proclaim the Gospel. As one of the first and most daring models of the pastor’s wife in the Protestant Reformation, Schütz Zell demonstrated that she could be an equal partner in marriage; she was for many years a respected, if unofficial, mother of the established church of Strasbourg in an age when ecclesiastical leadership was dominated by men.

Though a commoner, Schütz Zell participated actively in public life and wrote prolifically, including letters of consolation, devotional writings, biblical meditations, catechetical instructions, a sermon, and lengthy polemical exchanges with male theologians. The complete translations of her extant publications, except for her longest, are collected here in Church Mother, offering modern readers a rare opportunity to understand the important work of women in the formation of the early Protestant church.

296 pages | 4 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2006

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe

History: European History

Religion: Christianity

Women's Studies

Reviews

"I heartily recommend this book and appluad McKee’s decision to issue these important texts in translation. . . . A quick Google search shows that [the book] is already on the required book lists of a number of Fall 2006 courses. This volume, with its wealth of quality analysis and easy-to-read translations, certainly will, and should, appear on many more such book lists in the years to come."

Tryntje Helfferich | H-Net Book Review

"A welcome addition to the English language corpus of primary works suitable for undergraduate and graduate courses on the Reformation. . . . [McKee has] provided an important service to students and scholars--easy access to a long-ignored but significant writer who was quite influential in her day, in a text that provides both up-to-date scholarship and helpful information for beginners in Reformation theological issues and debates."

Beth Kreitzer | Sixteenth Century Journal

"The writings of Schuetz Zell reveal her understanding of women and ministry, her practices of biblical interpretation, and her own important defenses of Protestant belief and practice. This book should be in every seminary library, and it is a necessary text for any college or seminary class on women and the Protestant Reformation."

G. Sujin Pak | Religious Studies Review

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Series Editors’ Introduction
Volume Editor’s Introduction
Volume Editor’s Bibliography
Note on Translation

I. The Lay Reformer, Teacher, and Pastor
Introduction
Letter to the Suffering Women of the Community of Kentzingen
Introduction
Translation
Katharina Schütz’s Apologia for Master Matthew Zell, Her Husband
Introduction
Translation
Some Christian and Comforting Songs of Praise about Jesus Christ Our Savior
Introduction
Translation
Lament and Exhortation of Katharina Zell to the People at the Grave of Master Matthew Zell
Introduction
Translation
The Miserere Psalm Meditated, Prayed, and Paraphrased with King David by Katharina Zell . . . , Sent to the Christian Man Sir Felix Armbruster
Introduction
Translation
II. Autobiography and Polemic: A Lay Theologian Amid the Conflicts of Confessional Divisions
Introduction
To Sir Caspar Schwenckfeld
Introduction
Translation
A Letter to the Whole Citizenship of the City of Strasbourg from Katharina Zell, . . . concerning Mr. Ludwig Rabus
Introduction
Translation

Appendix: Letter of Ludwig Rabus to Katharina Schütz Zell (April 1557)
Series Editors’ Bibliography
Index

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