Topographies of Tolerance and Intolerance

Responses to Religious Pluralism in Reformation Europe


Topographies of Tolerance and Intolerance challenges the narrative of a simple progression of tolerance and the establishment of confessional identity during the early modern period. These essays explore the lived experiences of religious plurality, providing insights into the developments and drawbacks of religious coexistence in this turbulent period. The essays examine three main groups of actors—the laity, parish clergy, and unacknowledged religious minorities—in pre- and post-Westphalian Europe. Throughout this period, the laity navigated their own often-fluid religious beliefs, the expectations of conformity held by their religious and political leaders, and the complex realities of life that involved interactions with co-religious and non-co-religious family, neighbors, and business associates on a daily basis.

Contributors are: James Blakeley, Amy Nelson Burnett, Victoria Christman, Geoffrey Dipple, Timothy G. Fehler, Emily Fisher Gray, Benjamin J. Kaplan, David M. Luebke, David Mayes, Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer, William Bradford Smith, and Shira Weidenbaum.
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Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer is the Susan C. Karant-Nunn Chair of Reformation and Early Modern European History at the University of Arizona. She has published numerous works, including From Priest’s Whore to Pastor’s Wife: Clerical Marriage and the Process of Reform in the Early German Reformation (2012).

Victoria Christman is Associate Professor of History at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Her publications include Pragmatic Toleration: The Politics of Religious Heterodoxy in Early Reformation Antwerp, 1515-1555 (2015), and articles on publishing, trade, and religious prosecutions in the Low Countries.
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Notes on Contributors

PrologueBenjamin J. Kaplan

Part 1 Defining the Boundaries of Tolerance and Intolerance

1 Ideology, Pragmatism, and Coexistence Religious Tolerance in the Early Modern West
Victoria Christman

2 Resisting Biconfessionalism and Coexistence in the Common Territories of the Western Swiss Confederation
James Blakeley

3 The Persecution of Witches and the Discourse on Toleration in Early Modern Germany
William Bradford Smith

4 Coexistence and Confessionalization Emden’s Topography of Religious Pluralism
Timothy G. Fehler

5 Concubinaries as Citizens Mediating Confessional Plurality in Westphalian Towns, 1550–1650
David M. Luebke

Part 2 Mapping Memory and Arbitrating Good Neighbors

6 Imagined Conversations Strategies for Survival in the Dialogues Rustiques
Shira C. Weidenbaum

7 Anabaptists and Seventeenth-Century Arguments for Religious Toleration in Switzerland and the Netherlands
Geoffrey Dipple

8 Celebrating Peace in Biconfessional Augsburg Lutheran Churches and Remembrance Culture
Emily Fisher Gray

9 Discord via Toleration Clerical Conflict in the Post-Westphalian Imperial Territories
David Mayes

10 Parish Clergy, Patronage Rights, and Regional Politics in the Convent Churches of Welver, 1532–1697
Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer

Amy Nelson Burnett

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