Which monasteries were closed?

Monasteries during the Reformation in southwest Germany

Anna Sauerbrey

time and place

Thu 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., R 00-518

Requirements / organizational matters

Registration by email (sauerbr [a] uni-mainz.de)


Luther's rejection of monastic life and celibacy, according to church historian Bernd Möller, constitutes the core of Protestantism: "Protestantism can be defined as the church without monks, without nuns and without celibates". Consequently, the introduction of the Reformation in many territories and cities marked the end of a way of life that had held a permanent place in society for centuries. Some communities dissolved themselves, some were forcibly dissolved, and a few also managed to assert themselves in Protestant territories up to the modern age.
In this exercise, different case studies from the south-west of Germany are to be examined using sources that have not yet been edited. The focus is on the following questions: Which strategies did Protestant authorities use to dissolve monasteries? What resistance was there? Which factors determined whether or not a monastery was dissolved. could continue to exist? What happened to the retired monks and nuns? Special attention is paid to the differences between male and female monasteries

Recommended literature

Lutz, Heinrich: Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Munich 2002