The social, political, and cultural crises of the German Vormärz period (from 1815–1848) manifested themselves not least in the religious sphere. The conflict over the pilgrimage to the Holy Coat in
Trier in 1844 reveals how social status, political programmes, religious paradigms and changes in mentality were tightly interwoven.
The example of the German Southwest proves to be a finely callibrated seismograph for measuring the political and religious tremors that affected all of Germany from 1840 to
1860. Against this background, the author describes an admixture of corporative piousness and religious individualization, social origin and education, profession and mobility, the experiences of the
»little people« as well as grand political and ecclesiastical developments, which help explain the emergence of »German Catholicism« (Deutschkatholizismus) and the crystallization of a Catholic