By Thomas Max Safley

Within the 16th century, the Christian church and Christian worship fragmented right into a multiplicity of confessions that has grown to the current day. The essays during this quantity reveal that multiconfessionalism, understood because the legally famous and politically supported coexistence of 2 or extra confessions in one polity, was once the guideline instead of the exception for many of early sleek Europe. The members research its reasons and results. They exhibit that neighborhood non secular teams around the continent may cooperate with confessional rivals and oppose political experts to make judgements approximately their spiritual lives, reckoning on neighborhood stipulations and contingencies. In so doing, this quantity bargains a brand new imaginative and prescient of faith, kingdom, and society in early smooth Europe.Contributors comprise: 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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Confessions did not alone constitute what scholars have come to call “communities of faith,” but they delineated in concise form those positions that both members and opponents came to hold as definitive of that community. They served to “identify,” then, in two ways. ” For outsiders, any one sentence of a confession served to identify a person with a group whose legal status varied from place to place. The Content of Confessions In 1555, when the Diet of Augsburg formally accorded The Augsburg Confession legal status, the Catholic Church did not have a comparable statement of faith.

Prescription is not description. PART ONE CONFESSIONS CONFESSIONS Lee Palmer Wandel The fragmentation of Christendom in the 16th century engendered an ocean of words: sermons and songs, treatises and diatribes, testimonies and accusations. People seized words to articulate what they held to be “true Christianity,” the way “to honor God,” the relationship of Christ to humankind. And as those words were uttered or printed, others attacked them—for their imprecision, for their falseness, for the ways they misled.

Evans, The Making of the Hapsburg Monarchy, 1550–1700 (Oxford: 1979); R. Po-chia Hsia, Society and Religion in Münster, 1535–1618 (New Haven: 1984); Barbara Diefendorf, Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris (New York: 1991); Gregory Hanlon, Catholic and Protestant Coexistence in Aquitaine (Philadelphia: 1993), 1–16, 262–280. ”48 Under such circumstances, toleration may not be an apt expression. Burdened as it is with modern notions of religious freedom, according to which confessional identification and affiliation are private matters beyond the purview of the state, some more general notion of accommodation or coexistence might be preferable.

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A Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern by Thomas Max Safley
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