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Acknowledgments

This project, originally submitted as a dissertation, would not have been completed without the encouragement and financial support of numerous scholars, family members, foundations, universities, and libraries. Parts of the doctoral research were underwritten by the Department of History and the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan. In addition, stipends from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in 1983-84 and the Charlotte Newcombe Foundation in 1986-87 provided for a research year in Germany and an uninterrupted year of writing, respectively. More recently, I have also become indebted to the College of Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University for travel and research funding.

Both in the United States and in Germany, the librarians and staffs of the following institutions were invaluable in tracking down my obtuse requests: the university libraries at Michigan, Regensburg, Munich, and Arizona State; the state libraries at Regensburg, Passau, and Eichstätt; the Bavarian Central State Library in Munich; the diocesan library in Regensburg; the Metropolitan Library in Munich; and the Princely Thurn and Taxis Library in Regensburg. In addition, Elisabeth Mayer from the University Library at Regensburg was particularly helpful. An employee in the manuscript reading room, she befriended me during 1983-84, sharing her firsthand knowledge of Bavarian piety and religion. For more than six months Elisabeth gave up her Sunday afternoon walks to drive me to obscure Bavarian pilgrimage shrines. Through her, my knowledge of Bavarian culture and religion was infinitely deepened.

While I was engaged in writing the dissertation, the members of my committee, Diane Owen Hughes, Marvin Becker, anti Gerhard Dúnnhaupt, offered insight and criticism. And if what appears here now in book form bears little resemblance to the earlier dissertation, it is happily in part because of their gentle prodding.

Numerous scholarly friendships forged along the way have also


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strengthened the arguments presented here. In Ann Arbor, Joel Harrington was always especially willing to lend an ear. Over the years we have exchanged many a comic anecdote and useful tip from our reading in sixteenth-century documents. In addition, the members of our cohort-Nancy Horn, Ann Moyer, Lee Wandell, Ron Delph, Deborah Mahoney, and Anne McKernan-were an unusually caring and cooperative circle. Each has been forced at one time or another to listen to my renditions of Bavarian lore, sometimes until the small hours. Beyond Ann Arbor, Lionel Rothkrug, who had himself previously ventured into the tempestuous waters of German religion, also took an interest in this research. Our conversations have certainly enriched the coffers of AT&T, but they have also broadened my arguments. Lionel's good humor and the cooperation he has extended to someone so junior have been exemplary.

Once I left graduate school and entered the world of job talks, conferences, and publishing, I found numerous people interested in this research. Many have read and commented on drafts, papers, and articles. Among these, Steven Sargent, Virginia Reinburg, Carlos Eire, Kristin Zapalac, and Barbara Wisch have all offered insight. Lynn Hunt, too, read the dissertation and assured me that here was a story that might be of interest not just to Reformation historians, but to early modern scholars generally. The readers for the University of California Press, Tom Brady and Philip Hoffman, offered incisive suggestions for engaging this broader audience, while my editor, Sheila Levine, fielded my numerous telephone calls and resolved innumerable issues concerning publication.

At Arizona State, my colleagues have provided an ideal atmosphere for work. I am grateful to them all, and especially to several who have also discussed, read, and commented on the work I present here. My fellow sixteenth-century scholar and friend Retha Warnicke in particular has often been forced to endure my ramblings on South German legends. Lynn Stoner, Miguel Tinker Salas, Hans Sebald, and Rachel Fuchs read or listened to portions of this manuscript. In addition, my graduate assistant Lauren Hackett Kuby freed me from numerous mundane tasks so that I could write. As a student in the editing program, she was also able to offer useful advice concerning style and presentation.

My principal debt intellectually remains to Tom Tentler. It was he


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who originally suggested a topic on lay religion in early modern Germany. As a Doktorvater , he was willing to discuss this research with me with what now seems a kind of superhuman endurance. His concern continued long after the dissertation was completed, and his Erasmian wit and wisdom remain an inspiration.

Finally, I would like to thank my family. My parents, Ray and Donna Soergel, have supported my education and this research from the beginning. My mother also helped with the final proofing of the manuscript. Both my parents, and my mother-in-law, Irene Willis, have contributed financially and with a large dose of moral support to what is presented here. Beverly Ogdon, my aunt, also read and commented on this work in manuscript form. As an intelligent literatus unfamiliar with the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century German scene, she provided some of the most insightful criticism. Her sense of style and her wisdom, I hope, are to be found reflected in these pages. And her discussions of the current state of bel canto have been welcome relief from footnoting and bibliographical chores.

It is a convention for authors to offer profuse thanks to spouses and children. It is not duty, however, but happy gratitude that compels me to dedicate this book to my wife, Marcia, and our daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born when this book was nearly finished, and although her joyful babbling in the throes of its completion provided little in the way of useful commentary, her glowing face did manage to keep her father focused on the task at hand. For her mother, this book has been a project of longer standing. Marcia has undertaken this work with me, first as a thesis and later as a book, with unusual forbearance and grace. It has taken her at various times away from her own profession, forcing her to abandon Ann Arbor's idylls for the sparer charms of a German industrial ghetto and, later, drawing her into the heat and savage beauty of the Sonoran desert. Through this, her own long pilgrimage, her good humor has rarely been strained; consequently there could be no more fitting testimony to her achievement than a work on saintly miracles.


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