Catholic Belief and Survival in Late Sixteenth-Century Vienna: The Case of Georg Eder (1523–87), 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Catholic Belief and Survival in Late Sixteenth-Century Vienna

The Case of Georg Eder (1523–87), 1st Edition

By Elaine Fulton


216 pages

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Hardback: 9780754656524
pub: 2007-05-09
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pub: 2016-12-05
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Dr Georg Eder was an extraordinary figure who rose from humble origins to hold a number of high positions at Vienna University and the city's Habsburg court between 1552 and 1584. His increasingly uncompromising Catholicism eventually placed him at odds, however, with many influential figures around him, not least the confessionally moderate Habsburg Emperor, Maximillian II. Pivoting around a dramatic incident in 1573, when Eder's ferocious anti-Lutheran polemic, the Evangelical Inquisition, fell under sharp Imperial condemnation, this book investigates three key aspects of his career. It examines Eder's position as a Catholic in the predominantly Protestant Vienna of his day; the public expression of Eder's Catholicism and the strong Jesuit influence on the same; and Eder's rescue and subsequent survival as a lay advocate of Catholic reform, largely through the alternative protection of the Habsburgs' rivals, the Wittelsbach Dukes of Bavaria. Based on a wide variety of printed and manuscript material, this study contributes to existing historiography by reconstructing the career of one of late sixteenth-century Vienna's most prominent figures. In a broader sense it also adds significantly to the wider canon of Reformation history by re-examining the nature and extent of Catholicism at the Viennese court in the latter half of the sixteenth century. It concludes by emphasising the importance of influential laity such as Eder in advancing the cause of Catholic reform, and challenges the prevalent portrayal of the sixteenth-century Catholic laity as an anonymous and largely passive group who merely responded to the ministries of others.


’This is a solidly researched and carefully argued study…’ English Historical Review ’… an instructive case study in which the fruits of extensive archival research are presented in a convincing fashion, and with much engaging enthusiasm for its important subject.’ Journal or Ecclesiastical History ’… this deceptively modest book opens an important methodological pathway to the study of early modern Catholicism in central Europe.’ European History Quarterly ’[Fulton’s] careful research offers an important contribution to recovering a lesser-known voice of the Reformation era.’ Religious Studies Review ’… [Fulton’s] work constitutes the most important scholarly work to date on the role of Georg Eder and demonstrates the promising nature of future work on lay reformers for our understanding of early modern Catholicism.’ Sixteenth Century Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Eder's Vienna; Promotion and prominence, 1550-73; Service to the church, 1550-73; 1573: imperial condemnation; Wittelsbach patronage, 1573-87; 'Whoever is not like a Jesuit, is not a Catholic'; Conclusion; Select bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Elaine Fulton is Lecturer in the Department of Modern History at the University of Birmingham, UK.

About the Series

St Andrews Studies in Reformation History

With the publication of its 100th book in 2012, the St Andrews Studies in Reformation Studies series celebrated an impressive publishing achievement. Since its establishment in 1995 the series has consistently offered high-quality, innovative and thought-provoking research in the field of early modern religious history. By encouraging authors to adopt a broad and inclusive interpretation of ’Reformation’, the resultant publications have done much to help shape current interdisciplinary interpretations of early-modern religion, expanding attention far beyond narrow theological concerns. Each title within the series has added to a body of international research showing how the ripples of the Reformation spread to virtually every corner of European society, both Protestant and Catholic, and often beyond. From family life, education, literature, music, art and philosophy, to political theory, international relations, economics, colonial ventures, science and military matters, there were few aspects of life that remained untouched in some way by the spirit of religious reform. As well as widening conceptions of the Reformation, the series has for the last fifteen years provided a publishing outlet for work, much of it by new and up-and-coming scholars who might otherwise have struggled to find an international platform for their work. Alongside these monographs, a complementary selection of edited volumes, critical editions of important primary sources, bibliographical studies and new translations of influential Reformation works previously unavailable to English speaking scholars, adds further depth to the topic. By offering this rich mix of approaches and topics, the St Andrews series continues to offer scholars an unparalleled platform for the publication of international scholarship in a dynamic and often controversial area of historical study.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General