A Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World


In the sixteenth century, the Christian church and Christian worship fragmented into a multiplicity of confessions that has grown to the present day. The essays in this volume demonstrate that multiconfessionalism, understood as the legally recognized and politically supported coexistence of two or more confessions in a single polity, was the rule rather than the exception for most of early modern Europe. The contributors examine its causes and effects. They demonstrate that local religious groups across the continent could cooperate with confessional opponents and oppose political authorities to make decisions about their religious lives, depending on local conditions and contingencies. In so doing, this volume offers a new vision of religion, state, and society in early modern Europe.

Contributors include: Bernard Capp, John R. D. Coffey, Jérémie Foa, David Frick, Raymond Gillespie, Benjamin Kaplan, Howard Louthan, David Luebke, Keith Luria, Guido Marnef, Graeme Murdock, Richard Ninness, Penny Roberts, Jesse Spohnholz, Peter Wallace, Lee Palmer Wandel.

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Thomas Max Safley is Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published extensively on the social and economic history of early modern Europe, in which multiconfessionalism played a substantial role.
“[This volume’s] value lies in its geographical range, the diverse approaches taken, and the generally high quality of the contributions […]. The most ambitious essays – and potentially the most useful for comparative purposes – tackle big questions of how coexistence operated at the level of both community and state.”
Barbara Diefendorf, Boston University. In: The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2013), pp. 638-639.

‘’Le volume est vraiment un «companion» valable qui décrit avec Bonheur l’état de la recherché historique et peut constituer ainsi l’arrière-plan d’études ultérieures. Le volume contient en outre une abondante bibliographie polyglotte [..] présentée comme «works cited», celle-ci illustre l’extension du contenu du recueil qui est une excellente introduction à la problématique de la multiconfessionalité en Europe, à l’époque de la naissance de la Réforme protestante.’’
Jos E. Vercruysse, Pontificia Gregorian University. In: Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique, p. 448.
Notes on Contributors ... ix
Multiconfessionalism: A Brief Introduction ... 1
Thomas Max Safley

Confessions ... 23
Lee Palmer Wandel

Confessional Coexistence in the Early Modern Low Countries ... 47
Jesse Spohnholz
Multiconfessionalism in a Commercial Metropolis: The Case of 16th-Century Antwerp ... 75
Guido Marnef
“In Equality and Enjoying the Same Favor”: Biconfessionalism in the Low Countries ... 99
Benjamin J. Kaplan

A Multiconfessional Empire ... 129
David M. Luebke
vi contents
Protestant Imperial Knights, Multiconfessionalism, and the Counter-Reformation ... 155
Richard J. Ninness
Multiconfessionalism in the Holy Roman Empire: The Case of Colmar, 1550–1750 ... 179
Peter G. Wallace

France: An Overview ... 209
Keith P. Luria
Peace Commissioners at the Beginning of the Wars of Religion: Toward an Interactionist Interpretation of the Pacification Process in France ... 239
Jérémie Foa
One Town, Two Faiths: Unity and Exclusion during the French Religious Wars ... 265
Penny Roberts

Multiconfessionalism in Early Modern Britain ... 289
Bernard Capp
Early Modern Ireland as Multiconfessional State ... 317
Raymond Gillespie
European Multiconfessionalism and the English Toleration Controversy, 1640–1660 ... 341
John Coffey

Multiconfessionalism in Central Europe ... 369
Howard Louthan
Multiconfessionalism in Transylvania ... 393
Graeme Murdock
Five Confessions in One City: Multiconfessionalism in Early Modern Wilno ... 417
David Frick
Works Cited ... 445
Index ... 477
All those interested in the history of early modern Europe, the history of the Reformation, the history of religion, the history of the church and the history of law, as well as social, political, and cultural historians.
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