Cover image for Herrnhut: The Formation of a Moravian Community, 1722–1732 By Paul Peucker

Herrnhut

The Formation of a Moravian Community, 1722–1732

Paul Peucker

COMING IN

$54.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09239-3
Coming in

312 pages
6" × 9"
15 b&w illustrations/3 maps
2022

Pietist, Moravian, and Anabaptist Studies

Herrnhut

The Formation of a Moravian Community, 1722–1732

Paul Peucker

“How Zinzendorf and his community should be assessed was not only a matter of contention among his contemporaries but has remained controversial in research until today. Paul Peucker’s book represents a significant advance in scholarship on this array of questions, thanks to his unparalleled familiarity with the handwritten documents and the print sources.”

 

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In June 1722, three families from Moravia settled on the estate of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf in Berthelsdorf, Saxony. Known as the community of Herrnhut, their settlement quickly grew to become the epicenter of a transatlantic religious movement, one that would attract thousands of Europeans, American Indians, and enslaved Africans: the Moravian Church.

Written by one of the world’s leading archivists of the Moravian Church, this book investigates the origins of Herrnhut. Paul Peucker argues that Herrnhut was intended to be a Philadelphian community, uniting “true Christians” from all denominations. It was a separatist movement, but it concealed its separatism behind the pretense of an affiliation with the Lutheran Church and behind a chosen historical identity, that of the renewed Unity of Brethren. Peucker’s analysis, based on thousands of documents from archives in Germany and the United States, demonstrates how Herrnhut was able to grow and thrive despite existing regulations against new religious groups, uncovers Count Zinzendorf’s role in keeping Herrnhut outside the state church, and provides a new foundation from which to interpret the Moravian church’s later years.

Three centuries after Herrnhut’s founding, this intriguing history brings to light new information about the early years of the Moravian church. Peucker’s work will be especially valuable to students and scholars of Moravian and Pietist studies and members of the Moravian community.

“How Zinzendorf and his community should be assessed was not only a matter of contention among his contemporaries but has remained controversial in research until today. Paul Peucker’s book represents a significant advance in scholarship on this array of questions, thanks to his unparalleled familiarity with the handwritten documents and the print sources.”
“An intriguing and insightful read for researchers and students alike. Not only does Herrnhut provide an excellent introduction to the contexts in which the Moravian community in Herrnhut came into being, but it also offers exciting new interpretive approaches and opens new avenues for further research.”

Paul Peucker is Director and Archivist at the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He is the author of A Time of Sifting: Mystical Marriage and the Crisis of Moravian Piety in the Eighteenth Century, also published by Penn State University Press.