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L.I.S.A. Redaktion | 11/21/2012 | 3344 Views | 1 | Movies by the Gerda Henkel Foundation |

Celestial Treasure Trove -
Everyday Life and Piety on the Eve of Reformation (Germany)

Bridge Money | Episode 2

Medieval pilgrims quite often had to master difficult passages on their travels, for example, crossing turbulent rivers. In the majority of cases they relied on the services of a ferryman to get from shore to shore, as bridge construction was an expensive matter also in those days. Often the money for this was provided in the form of donations to the church, as Dr Hartmut Kühne finds out on his trip to Torgau on the River Elbe and Grimmenthal on the River Werra.



Audio stream of the video

The Research Project
The decades leading up to the dawn of the German Reformation have long been considered a time of crisis characterized by clerical misuse of power, ecclesial disorder and general social unrest. However, insights provided by newly conducted research paint it in a new light as a culturally fruitful period, in which a rigorous yet relatively peaceful ‘churching’ of the whole society did not serve to eliminate great religious diversity. Until now, central Germany in particular, the motherland of the Reformation, has rarely been the subject of research on this period: on the one hand because of the Protestant nature of the region, which led to the disappearance of many old forms of piety, and on the other because of the ideological dominance of the Third Reich and East Germany, which for over half a century undermined the realization of research on the region’s past religious culture and thus by and large eliminated the people’s awareness of this period of their own history.

A research project initiated by Thomas T. Müller, Head of the Association of Mühlhausen Museums, aims to rediscover the religious environment that prevailed here in the Late Middle Ages, a period which has largely fallen into obscurity in the region itself, by means of a representative stocktake of relics and artefacts relating to everyday religious conditions prior to the Reformation that have been found in central Germany and their subsequent context-based documentation. The project interprets the phenomenon of pre-Reformation piety as a reality that permeated all areas of social life during the period. Over the course of the project, Dr. Hartmut Kühne conducts extensive research among the inventories, catalogues and collections from small and mid-sized museums in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The focus here is not on creating a conventional register of museum-based collections, but instead pinpointing the function of objects in specific real-life contexts and illuminating their religious significance. 

The project is part of the research collaboration between major art-history museums in Magdeburg, Leipzig and Mühlhausen, the Institute of Saxon History and Folklore, the Luther Memorials Foundation in Saxony-Anhalt and the Thuringian Historical Commission. This project formed the basis of an academic congress in 2011 as well as an exhibition cycle planned for 2013 and 2014 in the Mühlhausen Museums, the Culture Historical Museum Magdeburg and the Municipal History Museum in Leipzig and perhaps in the smaller exhibition space in Luther’s final residence in Eisleben.

Project leadership

Thomas T. Müller
Dr. Hartmut Kühne



Academic Project Manager

Thomas T. Müller

Film Project Manager
Dr. Hartmut Kühne

Editorial Team
Susanne Decker

Camera Technicians

Jens Olaf Herz
Editing Technicians

Martin Pogac
Klaus Hernitschek

Project Assistants / Actors

Prof. Dr. Enno Bünz
Ulrike Dura
Jens Olaf Herz
Dr. Hartmut Kühne
Dr. Johannes Mötsch
Thomas T. Müller
Doris Mundus
Dr. Christian Philipsen
Prof. Dr. Matthias Puhle
Dr. Volker Rodekamp
Dr. Ulrike Theißen


Film Extras

Dr. Thomas Bauer
Beate Götte
Thomas Groll
Martin Günther
Dr. Matthias Hüls
Prof. Dr. em. Bernd Moeller
Dr. Peter Pieper
Dr. Michael Scholl 
Thomas Spata
Dr. Falk Walther
Falk Schulze

Overall Planning Teams
Gisela Graichen und Peter Prestel

Bernd Moeller, von 1964 bis 1999 Professor für Kirchengeschichte mit Schwerpunkt Reformationsgeschichte an der Universität Göttingen, stellte 1965 in seinem Aufsatz „Frömmigkeit in Deutschland um 1500“ erstmals pointiert die These auf, dass die deutsche Reformation nicht das Ergebnis einer kirchlichen und religiösen Krise war. Dr. Hartmut Kühne hat ihn besucht und interviewt.

Das Interview im Extra-Video.

All episodes
Spark in the Powder Keg?
Episode 1
Bridge Money
Episode 2
In Pilgrim's Footsteps
Episode 3
Miracles and Offerings
Episode 4
Vivid Imagery
Episode 5
The Round-Up Interview
Episode 6
The Surrounding Area
Episode 7
The Keystone
Episode 8
The Team
Episode 9


by Rudolf Lüscher | 06.07.2014 | 15:21
Ich bin kein Wissenschaftler,sondern ein einfacher Arbeiter und ein absoluter Laie auf allen diesen wissenschaftlichen Gebieten,aber:Eure L.I.S.A-Videos zum Thema"Himmlische Fundgrube-Alltag und Frömmigkeit am Vorabend der Reformation"sind einfach toll und haben mich total fasziniert..Das wollte ich Ihnen hiermit einfach mitteilen und ich hoffe,sie freuen sich darüber..
Freundliche Grüsse

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