In his portrait of Duke George of Saxony (1471–1539) Christoph Volkmar offers a fresh perspective on the early Reformation in Germany. Long before the Council of Trent, this book traces the origins of Catholic Reform to the very neighborhood of Wittenberg. The Dresden duke, cousin of Frederick the Wise, was one of Luther's most prominent opponents. Not only did he fight the Reformation, he also promoted ideas for renewal of the church. Based on thousands of archival records, many of them considered for the first time, Christoph Volkmar is mapping the church politics of a German prince who used the power of the territorial state to boost Catholic Reform, marking a third way apart from both Luther and Trent.
This book was orginally published in German as
Reform statt Reformation. Die Kirchenpolitik Herzog Georgs von Sachsen, 1488-1525.
Christoph Volkmar, Ph.D. (2007), is Director of Magdeburg City Archives and lecturer (Privatdozent) at the University of Leipzig. He is author of
Die Heiligenerhebung Bennos von Meißen (Aschendorff, 2002) and
Jörgs Junker. Landadel und Reformation im Mittelelberaum (forthcoming).
Table of contents
Preface to the English Edition Preface to the German Edition
A Critical Survey of Scholarship
George of Saxony’s Church Politics from a New Perspective
Church Governance and Catholic Reform before the Reformation (1488–ca. 1521)
Church Politics of German Princes in the Late Medieval Empire
The Wettin Tradition of Reform
George of Saxony (1471–1539) as a Reformer of the Church
Papacy and Council
Bishops and Cathedral Chapters
The Ecclesiastical Court System
The Regular Clergy
The Lower Clergy
Printing and the Public before Luther
Summary and Discussion
The Clash with the Early Reformation (1517–1525)
George of Saxony and Martin Luther: A New Look at an Old Enmity
“The Damned Lutheran Sect”
Church Politics against the Reformation in the Empire (1522–1525)
Outlawing the Reformation
Territorial Politics against Evangelical Pastors
Territorial Politics against Evangelical Monks
Territorial Politics against Evangelical Subjects
Reform Instead of Reformation
Church Politics against the Reformation: Successes, Limits, Perspectives
All interested in late medieval church reform, state-building in German territories, the early Reformation and especially in opposition to Martin Luther.