»Religionswahnsinn« in early 19th Century Germany
.Religionswahnsinn. as an state of mind ranging between fear of eternal condemption and spiritual awakening was ment to be one of the most discussed forms of mental derangement in early nineteenth century Germany. The medical discourse reinterpreated it to be both mental and somatical illness instead of a crisis of individual faith it had been traditional. Dicussing two patients. cases from the Hessian .Landeshospital Hofheim. near Darmstadt I ask how religious experience can be traced down in the physicians reports about these patients. Therefore I will work out the methodical opportunities of Joan W. Scott.s definition of experience and use the term to analyse Religionswahnsinn in the context of the patients. living conditions. Most important forms to express religious experience were reading religious books and preaching in public, practices of faith, that were influenced by the protestant evangelical movement (Pietismus). At last the stress on individual forms of faith, such as the hospitals. patients had developed, can help to undermine and reformulate the global model of nineteenth century secularization.