Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis



First Advisor

Jessica Kross


Clerics from across the confessional spectrum promoted the worship of God within families throughout the late seventeenth century. They argued for focused, rhythmic worship services for all household residents, morning and evening. This paper explores the way that this specific instance of family piety constituted a conservative movement among Protestants during a period in which it is normally assumed that patterns of religious practice were leading inevitably toward broad social habits we generally label modern. Family worship connected individual piety to corporate, public religious practice, and therefore worked against other individualizing or privatizing societal forces. Families also engaged texts together in essentially pre-modern ways.

The inquiry is based on the conviction that ostensibly religious activity ought to yield insights into the religious lives of historical agents, and not merely be studied in order to acquire supposedly more fundamental patterns of social or other behavior.