The origins of Moravian liturgical practice have traditionally been linked with the ancient Unitas Fratrum. In this essay, the author argues that many liturgical forms and ideas can be traced to Gottfried Arnold's representation of the early Christians in his two-volume work, Die Erste Liebe (1696). The author also investigates the question why this connection has not been acknowledged in previous historiography on the topic. By considering the influence of the ideal of primitive Christianity on the development of liturgical forms in early Herrnhut, important insight into the self-concept of the Moravian movement will be gained.

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