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Thomas Max Safley

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Thomas Max Safley

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Thomas Max Safley

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Edited by Thomas Max Safley

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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Children of the Laboring Poor

Expectation and Experience among the Orphans of Early Modern Augsburg

Thomas Max Safley

A companion volume to Charity and Economy in the Orphanages of Early Modern Augsburg, this book takes up the agency and individuality of the laboring poor and their children. It examines the economic lives of poor, distressed, or truncated families on the basis of 5,734 biographical descriptions of children who passed through the City, Catholic, and Lutheran orphanages of Augsburg between 1572 and 1806. Studied in conjunction with administrative, criminal, and fiscal records of various sorts, these “Orphan Books” reveal the laboring poor as flexible and adaptive. Their fates were determined neither by the poverty they suffered nor the charity they received. Rather, they responded to changing economic and social conditions by using Augsburg’s orphanages to extend their resources, care for their children, and create opportunities. The findings will interest historians of poverty, charity, labor, and the Reformation.
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Thomas Max Safley

This book examines the complex interrelationship between charity, confession, and capital in the orphanages of the Free Imperial City of Augsburg. To provide the best care at the least cost the administrators of these traditionally non-capitalistic organizations engaged in a wide variety of capitalistic practices in capital, commodity, and labor markets. Their market-orientated practices inspired bourgeois virtues that included the assessments of long-term risk and reward, the avoidance of excess and waste, and the practice of obedience, persistence, and industry. Under the pressures of confessional tension, efficiency slowly evolved into a more complex notion of utility that placed the needs of the orphanages over the dictates of economy and the divisions of religion. The product of monumental, original research, this book offers a substantial revision of current historical scholarship on poor relief, social discipline, organization building, and the advent of capitalism. A forthcoming volume will pursue these issues through a close study of the fortunes and fates of 8.000 Augsburg orphans. These studies make required reading for advanced students of early modern Europe.