conjuring up before the eyes of his flock ... the lurid fires of purgatory.This did get my attention. One then reads that
[A]t the end of the service quite a number of them went home looking white as a sheet.John Calvin would I suppose not have been left white as a sheet by such a sermon. He would have come away unhappy, though, for he regarded the doctrine of Purgatory as a blasphemy.
Sebald is not the only writer around the turn of our century to have a loose grasp of who in particular believed in Purgatory. In the movie "A Royal Affair", set at the 18th Century Danish court, a chaplain, necessarily a Lutheran, threatens some servants with a turn in Purgatory. He also speaks of mortal sin, a term not I think much used in Lutheran doctrine.