CULTURES OF THE PAST: “The pastor‘s new clothes”: Reclericalisation of Protestant clothing in German-speaking countries since 1970

Antje Bednarek-Gilland 1, Hermann - Peter Eberlein 2
1 - Social Science Institute of the Evangelical Church in Germany in Hanover
2 - Lutheran pastor in Wuppertal, Germany
2014; 15 (2):
ICID: 1131972
Article type: Other
IC™ Value: 1.50
Abstract provided by Publisher
This article illuminates the changes in the way pastors dress in German-speaking Protestantism.
It is based on a historical analysis of clothing conventions from the invention
of liturgical clothes for ecclesiastical personnel since the 1970s. Our point of departure is
the abolishment of liturgical vestments in favour of non-liturgical garments during the
Reformation and, since the middle of the 20th century, the subsequent reversal of this
development, i.e. the reintroduction of liturgical vestments. This development is mirrored
in clerics’ civilian clothing. We refer to this reversal process as a ‘reclericalisation’ of Protestantism
in regards to clothing and critically assess its sources and merits. A major point
in our argument is that liturgical clothes communicate theological and political meanings
as well as social status. Changes in the clothing system therefore have wider consequences
which need to be considered in light of the Protestant Churches’ theological and social
roles today.
DOI: 10.5604/20842937.1131972

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