This case study examines the history of the Netherlandic Mennonite community living in and around Hamburg after the Thirty Years War. Based on detailed archival research, it expands the scope of Radical Reformation studies to include the confessional age (c. 1550-1750). During this period Mennonites had to conform politically while trying to preserve many of the nonconformist ideals of their forebears, such as the refusal to baptize children, bear arms and swear solemn oaths. The research presented in Obedient Heretics will, therefore, be of interest to scholars of minority communities in addition to those concerned with the Reformation's legacy, confessionalization and confessional identity.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Confessional migration: the dispersion of Anabaptists to Northern Germany; The short-lived ceremonialism of the Dompelaars; The confessionalist strategy of Flemish leaders; Mennonite confessionalization and beyond: polemics and the articulation of a conformist ideology; A conformist brand of nonresistance: controversies and silences; The nonswearing of solemn oaths: official accounts versus everyday behaviours; Mixed marriages and social change; Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.
'Readers will find a mine of information in Obedient Heretics... Driedger's book invites discussion and debate. HIs meticulous scholarship and even-handed interpretation reveal him to be a scholar par excellence. Mennonites are fortunate to have such talent and dedication interested in their history.' The Conral Grebel Review '... solidly founded on an exhaustive and careful analysis of the abundant archival resources in Germany and the Netherlands... in addition this learned study also offers a new model for the historical analysis of the socioreligious life of Mennonites (and other religious minorities) in the post-Reformation era, superseding the older historiographical tradition.' The Mennonite Quarterly Review '... a useful contribution ot Mennonite history and to the study of post-Reformation Europe.' Sixteenth Century Journal 'Based on impressive archival research, Obedient Heretics sheds new light on important details about Mennonites in northern Europe and also brings to the surface older material that has long since been lost to English-language historiography.' The Mennonite Quarterly Review '... a valuable contribution both to the study of early modern confessionalization and to the history of the Anabaptist movement after the end of its initial radical phase... provides a fascinating picture of the unfolding of a confessionalization process that was not in any immediate sense linked with government authority.' German History