Indifferent Things? Material and Ceremonial Church Practices in the 16th and 17th Centuries in the Baltic Sea Region

Event Date: 
14 Sep 2017 to 16 Sep 2017


Niguliste Museum, Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn


Icon worship, the Catholic Church’s love of luxury, the grandeur of ceremonies and vestments, and the sale of indulgences were among the most significant criticisms expressed by the Reformation movement. It was, however, only in 1548 that a more serious dispute over adiaphora, or Mitteldinge, started in the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation; the attitude of the evangelical church towards ‘indifferent things’ was ultimately formulated in the Konkordiaformel in 1570. Confessional and institutional regulations often differed substantially from the actual practices of congregations. Naturally, the two were interdependent, and it seems, therefore, productive to study the material and art history of the Lutheran Church of the early modern period through the relationship and mutual effects of the norms and their executors: pastors, members of congregation, artists etc. Further information: