Lutherans in the Poznan province
Biological dynamics of the Lutheran population in the 19th and early 20th centuries
– in englischer Sprache –
Hamburg 2015, 240 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-8300-8059-6 (Print/eBook)
Anthropology, Demography, Fertility, Gene Pool, Habilitation, Historical Poland, Marriage Patterns, Mortality, Protestantism, Prussian Sector
In contrast to the Lutheran communities of Western Europe, those settling in the Poznan province were culturally very diverse in terms of roots, traditions, customs, habits, lifestyles, and wealth. In Germany they were members of different local churches. On coming to the Poznan province, they brought with them religious practices characteristic of the various German states and regions. Moreover, their cultural heterogeneity and the proximity of Catholics could facilitate their acculturation, which made them adopt many Catholic traditions, first of all their system of values and lifestyles, translated ultimately into biological dynamics. This book focuses on the biological dynamics of the Lutheran populations in the Poznan province in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, its ecological and socio-cultural factors and changes over time. The analysis is based on data derived from registers of selected Lutheran parishes and Prussian statistics for the region as a whole. This material permitted a detailed study of mortality, including infant deaths, marital fertility and illegitimacy, patterns of marriage, and the state of and changes in the gene pool of the Lutheran communities in the Poznan province. Such components of their biological dynamics as mortality and fertility were strongly influenced by broadly understood cultural and environmental factors. A gradual decline in both mortality and fertility figures over time observed among the Lutherans under study was a phenomenon characteristic of the Polish lands of that time, including those under Prussian rule, strictly associated with improvement in the quality of life, medical care and ecological conditions in the province in the late 19th century. The analysis of the state of and changes in the gene pool of the Lutheran communities in the province leads to the conclusion that migratory movement was the main factor dynamizing their gene pools in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Generally speaking, in the Poznan province religious affiliation became an essential feature of the social identity of its inhabitants, but its influence on the demographic behaviour of the Poznan province population was moved into the background.
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