Nina Javette Koefoed

Nina Javette Koefoed (Aarhus University),

The Lutheran Household – a Social and Institutional Legacy in Danish Society


The early modern household was a Christian household. It was a central institution in relation to upholding social order and thus also in relation to state-building. While most research has focused on the reformed household, the Catholic household, the Lutheran household within the Holy Roman Empire or the Anglican household, this keynote focuses on the early modern Danish Lutheran household. Drawing on a comprehensive study of catechisms and legislation together with records from a Tugt Workhouse outside Copenhagen, the keynote explores the expectations and obligations placed on the household, the boundaries between household and state and the mechanisms used to uphold the good Christian household. Through cases of disobedient children and spouses behaving in an unchristian manner, the keynote argues that the mutual obligations of the fourth commandment established path dependencies in the understanding of the social responsibility of the authority in the Danish society.


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