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By Katharina Schütz Zell, Elsie McKee

Imbued with personality and independence, energy and articulateness, humor and conviction, ample biblical wisdom and extreme compassion, Katharina Schütz Zell (1498–1562) was once an outspoken non secular reformer in sixteenth-century Germany who campaigned for the precise of clergy to marry and the accountability of lay people—women in addition to men—to proclaim the Gospel. As one of many first and such a lot bold types of the pastor’s spouse within the Protestant Reformation, Schütz Zell proven that she should be an equivalent associate in marriage; she used to be for a few years a revered, if unofficial, mom of the proven church of Strasbourg in an age while ecclesiastical management used to be ruled by means of men.

Though a commoner, Schütz Zell participated actively in public existence and wrote prolifically, together with letters of comfort, devotional writings, biblical meditations, catechetical directions, a sermon, and long polemical exchanges with male theologians. the full translations of her extant courses, with the exception of her longest, are amassed right here in Church Mother, providing sleek readers an extraordinary chance to appreciate the real paintings of girls within the formation of the early Protestant church.

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6–7. 24 Vo l u m e E d i t o r ’s I n t r o d u c t i o n “Letter to the Citizens of Strasbourg concerning Mr.

17. See Chrisman, Lay Culture, Learned Culture, esp. chaps. 4–5. 14 Vo l u m e E d i t o r ’s I n t r o d u c t i o n Ship of Fools and its more biting analog, Narrenbeschwerung (The Fools’ Exorcism), by the imperial poet laureate Thomas Murner. A few years later Schütz Zell would refer to Murner and his books, and from her Protestant viewpoint both satires were worthy of censure. 19 Even more notable, the majority of these publications were in German. Latin continued to be very important, but now vernacular pamphlets and books, especially polemic, overtook and often greatly surpassed the number of texts produced for the learned.

Early in July, many of the men and their pastor, Jacob Otter, had been forced by their overlords, who were loyal to Rome, to leave Kentzingen; the women were under pressure, and the city secretary had been executed for possessing a German New Testament. The men took refuge in Strasbourg, the nearest city with Protestant sympathies, where the Zells welcomed eighty of the 150 into their large parsonage and helped feed them for four weeks. This was only the beginning of a lifelong practice of receiving travelers and refugees, a ministry dear to both Matthew and Katharina, which she would continue until her death.

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