Peace Sermons Peace sermons, printed festive sermons that marked the conclusion of peace treaties, became established as a distinct Protestant genre in the seventeenth century, particularly after the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and especially in the Holy Roman Empire and England. The sermons were delivered in the church thanksgiving services that were often decreed by rulers as part of the celebration of a peace. Several hundred such sermons were printed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Using a wealth of biblical quotations, they gave the theological interpretation of a peace: war was interpreted as God’s punishment for the sins of man and peace was portrayed as an undeserved mercy and gift. In addition to offering a general explanation of peace, the sermons also often commented on what had been experienced during a war and offered ethical guidance for the peacetime that was about to begin.