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Author: Graeme Murdock


Transylvania's survival was threatened by both its Habsburg and Ottoman neighbors. Given this precarious international position, ruling princes required sufficient power to govern effectively, and also needed to maintain a broad consensus for their right to exercise authority over the diverse political elite. A successful balance of power between princes and the estates was built around the freedoms granted to a number of different churches, and around the right of the diet to elect princes. This article examines the elections of Gábor Bethlen and other Calvinist princes in Transylvania during the early seventeenth century. Even though these elections were rarely free or fair, they provided a key basis for the growing political authority of princes who were widely identified as divinely-appointed rulers. Transylvania thus provides a model of a competence for elective monarchy, a form of political organization often thought to lead inevitably to unstable and ineffective government.

In: Journal of Early Modern History
In: A Companion to the Reformation in Geneva
In: A Companion to Reformed Orthodoxy
In: A Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World
A Companion to the Reformation in Central Europe analyses the diverse Christian cultures of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Czech lands, Austria, and lands of the Hungarian kingdom between the 15th and 18th centuries. It establishes the geography of Reformation movements across this region, and then considers different movements of reform and the role played by Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox clergy. This volume examines different contexts and social settings for reform movements, and investigates how cities, princely courts, universities, schools, books, and images helped spread ideas about reform. This volume brings together expertise on diverse lands and churches to provide the first integrated account of religious life in Central Europe during the early modern period.

Contributors are: Phillip Haberkern, Maciej Ptaszyński, Astrid von Schlachta, Márta Fata, Natalia Nowakowska, Luka Ilić, Michael Springer, Edit Szegedi, Mihály Balázs, Rona Johnston Gordon, Howard Louthan, Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin, Liudmyla Sharipova, Alexander Schunka, Rudolf Schlögl, Václav Bůžek, Mark Hengerer, Michael Tworek, Pál Ács, Maria Crăciun, Grażyna Jurkowlaniec, Laura Lisy-Wagner, and Graeme Murdock.