Biographies of a Reformation: Religious Change and Confessional Coexistence in Upper Lusatia, c. 1520-1635

ISBN : 9780198868156

Martin Christ
288 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Biographies of a Reformation: Religious Change and Confessional Coexistence in Upper Lusatia, c. 1520-1635 investigates how religious coexistence functioned in six towns in the multiconfessional region of Upper Lusatia in Western Bohemia. Lutherans and Catholics found a feasible modus vivendi through written agreements and regular negotiations. This meant that the Habsburg kings of Bohemia ruled over a Lutheran region. Lutherans and Catholics in Upper Lusatia shared spaces, objects, and rituals. Catholics adopted elements previously seen as a firm part of a Lutheran confessional culture. Lutherans, too, were willing to incorporate Catholic elements into their religiosity. Some of these overlaps were subconscious, while others were a conscious choice. This book provides a new narrative of the Reformation and shows that the concept of the 'urban Reformation', where towns are seen as centres of Lutheranism has to be reassessed, particularly in towns in former East Germany, where much work remains to be done. It shows that in a region like Upper Lusatia, which did not have a political centre and underwent a complex Reformation with many different actors, there was no clear confessionalization. By approaching the Upper Lusatian Reformation through important individuals, Martin Christ shows how they had to negotiate their religiosity, resulting in cross-confessional exchange and syncretism.


Introduction: A Royal Visit
1 Lorenz Heidenreich (1480-1557), Oswald Pergener (1490s-1546) and the Many Faces of the Lusatian Reformation
2 Johannes Hass (c. 1476-1544): History Writing and Divine Intervention in the Early Reformation
3 Andreas Gunther (1502-1570): Religion, Politics and Power in the Lusatian League
4 Bartholomaus Scultetus (1540-1614): Learning, Teaching and Remembering in the Towns of the Lusatian League
5 Johann Leisentrit (1527-1586): Redefining Catholicism in a Lutheran Region
6 Sigismund Suevus (1526-1596): Sharing Spaces and Objects
7 Martin Moller (1547-1606): Possibilities and Limits of Toleration
8 Friedrich Fischer (1558-1623): Repositioning Lutheranism and Negotiating Ways Forward
Conclusion: The Lusatian Reformation


Martin Christ is a historian of early modern Europe, with a particular interest in the religious, cultural, and social history of Bohemia and Germany. He holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford after previously studying at the universities of Warwick, St. Andrews, and Dresden. He has published in German and English on religious coexistence, Sorb history, and the Reformation in central Europe. After teaching at the University of Tubingen, he is currently working on a project on dying and commemoration in early modern Europe as part of the Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies: Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations at the Max-Weber-Kolleg of the University of Erfurt.