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Diversity and Dissent: Negotiating Religious Difference in Central Europe, 1500-1800

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Volume 11

Austrian and Habsburg Studies

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Diversity and Dissent

Negotiating Religious Difference in Central Europe, 1500-1800

Edited by Howard Louthan, Gary B. Cohen and Franz A. J. Szabo

264 pages, 6 ills, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-108-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (March 2011)

eISBN 978-0-85745-109-5 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


This volume gives a good, comparative insight into the construction of denominational affiliations, the inter-denominational understanding and the conflicts in political and everyday life in Central Europe.  ·  Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung


Early modern Central Europe was the continent’s most decentralized region politically and its most diverse ethnically and culturally. With the onset of the Reformation, it also became Europe’s most religiously divided territory and potentially its most explosive in terms of confessional conflict and war. Focusing on the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, this volume examines the tremendous challenge of managing confessional diversity in Central Europe between 1500 and 1800. Addressing issues of tolerance, intolerance, and ecumenism, each chapter explores a facet of the complex dynamic between the state and the region’s Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Utraquist, and Jewish communities. The development of religious toleration—one of the most debated questions of the early modern period—is examined here afresh, with careful consideration of the factors and conditions that led to both confessional concord and religious violence.

Howard Louthan is Professor of History at the University of Florida. He specializes in the intellectual and cultural history of early modern Central Europe. Among his books are The Quest for Compromise: Peacemakers in Counter-Reformation Vienna (Cambridge, 1997) and Converting Bohemia: Force and Persuasion in the Catholic Reformation (Cambridge, 2009).

Gary B. Cohen is Professor and Chair of History and former director of the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He teaches modern Central European social and political history and has published numerous articles and essays as well as two books in these areas.

Franz A. J. Szabo is director of the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies and Professor of Austrian and Habsburg History at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He has published widely in Europe and North America, including a prizewinning book on Habsburg enlightened absolutism and a recent study of the Seven Years War.

Subject: History: Medieval/Early Modern
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


List of Figures

Introduction:Between Conflict and Concord: The Challenge of Religious Diversity in Central Europe
Howard Louthan 

Chapter 1. Constructing and Crossing Confessional Boundaries: The High Nobility and the Reformation of Bohemia
Petr Maťa

Chapter 2. Religious Toleration in Sixteenth Century Poland: Political Realities and Social Constraints
Paul W. Knoll

Chapter 3. Customs of Confession: Managing Religious Diversity in Late Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century Westphalia
David M. Luebke

Chapter 4. Cuius region, eius religio: The ambivalent meanings of state building in Protestant Germany, 1555-1655
Robert von Friedeburg

Chapter 5. The Entropy of Coercion in the Holy Roman Empire: Jews, Heretics, Witches
Thomas A. Brady, Jr.

Chapter 6. Conflict and Concord in Early Modern Poland: Catholics and Orthodox at the Union of Brest
Mikhail V. Dmitriev

Chapter 7. Confessionalization and the Jews: Impacts and Parallels in the City of Strasbourg
Debra Kaplan

Chapter 8. Mary “triumphant over demons and also heretics”: Religious symbols and confessional uniformity in Catholic Germamy
Bridget Heal

Chapter 9. Heresy and Literacy in the Eighteenth-century Habsburg Monarchy
Regina Pörtner

Chapter 10. Union, Reunion, or Toleration? Reconciliatory Attempts among Eighteenth-century Protestants
Alexander Schunka

Chapter 11. Confessional Uniformity, Toleration, Freedom of Religion: An Issue for Enlightened Absolutism in the Eighteenth Century
Ernst Wangermann

Notes on Contributors
Select Bibliography


Figure 1. Master of St. Severin rosary altar
Figure 2. Rosary image, Cologne
Figure 3. Bartolomäus Bruyn the Elder, Tryptich
Figure 4. Sixteenth-century panels, Virign and Child
Figure 5. Arrival of Gustav Adolph, Augsbury 1632
Figure 6. Altarpiece, Parish Church, Sebes, c. 1524-6

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