Living with Religious Diversity in Early-Modern Europe: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Living with Religious Diversity in Early-Modern Europe

1st Edition

By Dagmar Freist

Edited by C. Scott Dixon


328 pages

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Hardback: 9780754666684
pub: 2009-09-28
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Current scholarship continues to emphasise both the importance and the sheer diversity of religious beliefs within early modern societies. Furthermore, it continues to show that, despite the wishes of secular and religious leaders, confessional uniformity was in many cases impossible to enforce. As the essays in this collection make clear, many people in Reformation Europe were forced to confront the reality of divided religious loyalties, and this raised issues such as the means of accommodating religious minorities who refused to conform and the methods of living in communion with those of different faiths. Drawing together a number of case studies from diverse parts of Europe, Living with Religious Diversity in Early Modern Europe explores the processes involved when groups of differing confessions had to live in close proximity - sometimes grudgingly, but often with a benign pragmatism that stood in opposition to the will of their rulers. By focussing on these themes, the volume bridges the gap between our understanding of the confessional developments as they were conceived as normative visions and religious culture at the level of implementation. The contributions thus measure the religious policies articulated by secular and ecclesiastical elites against the 'lived experience' of people going about their daily business. In doing this, the collection shows how people perceived and experienced the religious upheavals of the confessional age and how they were able to assimilate these changes within the framework of their lives.


’… [an] excellent volume…’ Catholic Historical Review 'The spirit of this excellent volume is well characterized in its Afterword: There was no high road to toleration, signposted from the Reformation, but only a set of muddy and winding streets, most of them not one-way�.' Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 'This volume provides a compelling overview of early modern religious pluralism, reminding us that "coexistence was the rule, rather than the exception, in the Reformation and post-Reformation eras".' Seventeenth Century News 'Living with Religious Diversity in early-Modern Europe offers a salutary reminder that what early modern people professed was not necessarily that same thing as how they lived.' Sixteenth Century Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: living with religious diversity in early modern Europe, C. Scott Dixon; How plural were the religious worlds in early modern Europe? Critical reflections from the Netherlandic experience, Willem Frijhoff; Emblems of coexistence in a confessional world, Wayne Te Brake; Art, religious diversity and confessional identity in early-modern Transylvania, Maria Craciun; The power of conscience? Conversion and confessional boundary building in early-modern France, Keith P. Luria; The Counter-Reformation and popular piety in Vienna - a case study, Karl Vocelka; Protestants and fairies in early-modern England, Peter Marshall; In sickness and in health: medicine and inter-confessional relations in post-Reformation England, Alexandra Walsham; Catholics and community in the Revolt of the Netherlands, Judith Pollmann; Crossing religious borders: the experience of religious difference and its impact on mixed marriages in 18th-century Germany, Dagmar Freist; Intimate negotiations: husbands and wives of opposing faiths in 18th-century Holland, Benjamin J. Kaplan; The emergence of confessional identities: family relationships and religious coexistence in 17th-century Utrecht, Bertrand Forclaz; Religion and the display of power: a Wuerttemberg prince abroad, Dorothea Nolde; Afterword: living religious diversity, Mark Greengrass; Index.

About the Author/Editor

C. Scott Dixon is from the Queen's University Belfast, UK. Dagmar Freist is from the University of Oldenburg, Germany and Mark Greengrass is from the University of Sheffield, 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