Fall 1994

Volume IX, Number 3

In This Issue

J. S. Bach and Pietism by Don O Franklin

Up to this point in our study, we have traced Bach's encounters with pietism from his early childhood in Ohrdruf to his first position of importance, namely, that of organist in Mühlhausen. In the process of retracing Bach's steps, we have uncovered evidence indicating that he did not reject pietism out of hand, as earlier studies have concluded, but, rather, that he accepted, and often sought out, positions in places where it flourished. The evidence has come to light in a wide variety of sources: historical studies of German cities and provinces; biographical sketches of superintendents and pastors, as well as city and court officials; new research on the historical, social, and theological contexts of pietism; and, finally, the music itself. Rarely is the evidence explicit; often it is fragmentary. Taken together, however, it conveys a new image of Bach.