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Hope for Better Times 3

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One of the most important impulses in the modern history of Christianity is Pietism, which began as a renewal movement in German Lutheranism, spread to the Lutheran churches of Scandinavia, and shaped the development of several Lutheran bodies in America. Yet most Lutherans and other Christians today know nothing of Pietism — or only know it as something to be avoided.

In this four-part online presentation, historian Chris Gehrz will suggest how the Pietist past can inspire renewal amid the challenges of the present.

April 30 - Part 3 of 4

As we round the bend in this four-part series, we delve into the history of specific Pietist movements.

The first Pietists were German Lutherans — who were often critical of the Lutheran churches of their time. That same tension followed Pietism north to Scandinavia, where revivalists like Hans Nielsen Hauge had complicated relationships with Lutheran state churches. Then as millions of Scandinavian immigrants crossed the Atlantic, they separated into new American denominations, one of which embraced its Pietist heritage more than any other.

 

Further Reading and Viewing for Part Three

Chris Gehrz, “Philipp Jakob Spener,” Christianity Today, Apr. 26, 2019, https://www.christianitytoday.com/his...

Chris Gehrz, “Stay With Us: The Pietism of Hans Nielsen Hauge,” The Anxious Bench, Nov. 27, 2018, https://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxious...

Peter Vethanayagamony, "Henry Melchior Muhlenberg," Living Lutheran, Oct. 2018, https://www.livinglutheran.org/2018/1...

Tim Frakes, God's Glory, Neighbor's Good: The Story of Pietism (Vision Video, 2017), https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Glory-Nei...

Mark A. Granquist, ed., Scandinavian Pietists: Spiritual Writings from 19th-Century Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland (Paulist Press, 2015), https://www.amazon.com/Scandinavian-P...

Mark Safstrom, ed., The Swedish Pietists: A Reader (Pickwick, 2015), https://wipfandstock.com/the-swedish-...

Tom Tredway, "Covenanters, Lutherans, and Creeds," Pietisten, Spring/Summer 2014, http://pietisten.org/xxix/1/creeds.html

Douglas Shantz, An Introduction to German Pietism: Protestant Renewal at the Dawn of Modern Europe (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-G...

Michelle A. Clifton-Soderstrom, Angels, Worms, and Bogeys: The Christian Ethic of Pietism (Cascade, 2010), https://wipfandstock.com/angels-worms...