Religious tensions impaired the working of the imperial constitution and contributed to the outbreak of war in 1618.
However, not the connection was not straightforward. Th 1500s was far less violent than the Middle Ages, numerous feud, even emperors deposed by their vassals.
Distinct confessional identities important to the outbreak of war.
All Christian confessions sprang from common roots, but developed a momentum of their own due to:
Vested material interests
Social concerns for status and prestige
Psychological need to belong and to define that belonging by distancing oneself from those holding different views.
Theological controversy forced each principal denomination to stress particular aspects as distinctive.:
Catholicism- Primacy of organization. With the Roman church as the only competent authority for interpreting the Word of God for all Christians.
(Supremacy of the Pope was a mixed bag, not all Catholics accepted his most bold claims to authority. Borromeo among many others preferred Church councils. Trent and the Jesuits liked papal supremacy.)
Lutheranism- Primacy of doctrine. Free the Word of God from being misinterpreted by a church that had lost its way.
Calvinism- Primacy of practice. Follow Luther’s “reformation of doctrine” with a “reformation of life”, bringing behavior in line with faith. (Never mind it that it doesn’t matter b/c predestination.)
Martin Luther began by trying to renew Catholicism, his break forced both political and theological responses from the papacy.
Council of Trent (1545-1563)- Convening of cardinals intended to heal the rift with Luther, ended up condemning his evangelicals as heretics.
Trent defined Catholicism and outlined a program to exterminate heresy by renewing Catholic life.
Placed emphasis on the Eucharist, a central collective act of worship bringing priest and lay community together. Constituted a form of “Tridentine mass”.
The priest was essential for the consecration of the wafers into the real body of Christ. Reminding everyone of the importance of the Catholic priesthood.
Revival of the medieval Eucharist cult, accompanied by Corpus Christi processions on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.
Trent issued a wide range of decrees to counter Luther’s assertion the Catholic priesthood was not up to the task of mediating between God and believers.
Clerical education expanded to priests were sure to understand the true faith and not mislead the flocks.
Bishops were told to serve their dioceses, not exploit them.
Carlo Borromeo (1538-1584), first Archbishop of Milan in 80 years to reside in the city.
Regularly visited churches and sponsoring religious orders to enliven the community with an active Christian life.
Invented the modern confessional box. Removing the public shame aspect of confession and creating an opportunity for individual spiritual guidance. Made confession more popular.
Assailed heresy in Switzerland, became the object of his own personality cult, became a cardinal, declared a saint in 1610 (Not even thirty years after dying? Yowzas thats fast!).
Veneration of saints, including many local saints, an important mark of Tridentine Catholicism. Saints more than just role models (the Protestant view?), they were believed to be direct intercessors with God.
Liturgy remained in Latin, but other aspects of worship were held in vernacular and accompanied by music, singing, and other activities intended to strengthen solidarity.
Pilgrimages revived, especially within the HRE at the bleeding heart shrines at Weingarten and Walldurn which survived the Reformation. Their protection by the Duke of Bavaria and Archbishop of Mainz respectively demonstrated their Catholic credentials.
Number of visitors reached 10000 a year in 1590, doubled or tripled that by the 1620s, continued to thrive barring three years during the 30YW.
The Holy Family gained in prominence.
Joseph’s saintly character became more emphasized, presented as defender and guardian of all Catholic Christian families.
Cult of Madonna reached new heights, new pilgrimage sites at Altotting and Passau. Marian confraternities expanded to include lay members to integrate more of the Catholic community. Cologne had 2000 members in a total popular of 45000 by 1650.
Reform of the papal curia and expansion of its diplomatic network in response to Protestantism and a shift in the balance of powers within the Catholic monarchies.
Habsburg Spain had won territories in Italy taken from France, which existed on multiple sides of the Papal States by 1559.
The pontiff did not forget that it was Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, not at all a Protestant, who had sacked Rome in 1527.
The Pope recognized that Catholicism needed the Habsburgs in Spain & the HRE and their possessions in the New World and East Asia.
Pope saw himself as padre commune, using his influence to broker reconciliation within the Christian community.
But Pope had to work through the Catholic monarchs for fear of his personal safety. He suspected they placed their dynastic priorities over what was best for their faith.
Tried to leverage France and the remaining Italian city-states against the Habsburgs, but Italy was in post-Renaissance decline. France was weak, surrounded by the enemy Habsburgs, caught up in its Reformation-induced religious wars.
As a result, the papacy had to surrender initiative to Catholic monarchs to advance local Catholic interests.
Officially founded as the Society of Jesus in 1540 by papal decree under the initiative of Ignatius Loyola.
Goal- Extirpate the “epidemic of the soul”- Protestantism.
Remove Protestants and Catholics who would cooperate with them from positions of power.
Afterwards, restore the health of the soul through promoting a vigorous Catholic life and doctrine.
Jesuits were overtly political in their tactics, which set them apart from other Catholic orders.
The Capuchins of the Franciscan tradition contrasted with the Jesuits. The Capuchins emphasized working among the ordinary people. The Capuchins were ordered by Borromeo to restore Catholicism in Swiss and Habsburg alpine villages in the Tirol.
The Jesuits worked from the top-down of the political hierarchy, not the bottom-up. If they won over the territory’s ruler and its elite, they believed they believed the rest of society would gradually follow.
Loyola ordered a Jesuit to become confessor to the King of Portugal in 1552 when the post opened up, became a typical Jesuit practice.
Not all Catholics liked the Jesuits.
The more traditional orders resented their pushiness, acquisition of churches, schools, and other assets through political connections.
Some were alarmed by their apparent radicalism. One former Jesuit tried killing Henri IV (Henri of Navarre) of France in 1594 (he lived to be assassinated another day). Another defended tyrannicide in a book published five years later. Easy to believe they were tied to other conspiracies like the English Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
(Needless it be said, Protestants hated Jesuits as the metaphoric elite soldiers of the Pope, and as conspirators who used their political ties for disproportionate control of the world.)
Jesuits had to reconcile their Counter-Reformation mission with a hierarchical world view, and evolved a distinct approach to being confessors.
The Devil tempted the princes to make concessions to the heretics. God would forgive if the prince -provided such concessions had been politically necessary and were revoked at the first opportunity.
This allowed for pragmatism and a belief in compromise that could thwart the tendency for militancy. It depended on the individual Jesuit and the person they served.
Holy Roman Emperor uniquely in Europe had an unbroken line of Jesuit confessors for a time, the Jesuits weren’t as influential outside of the porous Empire.
Martin Becan- Flexible, pragmatic Jesuit confessor chosen in 1620.
William Lamormaini- Succeeded Becan, a militant hardliner. Lasted until Emperor Ferdinand II’s death in 1637.
Johannes Gans- Chosen by Ferdinand II’s son and successor. A Jesuit known more for his love of good dinners and more secular lifestyle.
Jesuits expanded rapidly. 50 members in the Empire out of 1000 total at the time of Loyola’s death in 1556. Reached 1600 out 13100 worldwide by 1615.
Most Jesuits were not confessors (only so many rulers), but teachers. The order’s primacy influence stemmed from its role as educator of the lay and clerical elite.
22 Jesuit colleges in the Rhineland by the outbreak of 30YW, another 20 in southern Germany, and 23 more in Austria and Bohemia by 1630.
Enrollment rose dramatically. Trier had 135 students when founded in 1561, reached 1000 by 1577.
Jesuits persuaded rulers to elevate them from colleges to universities, attracting students from more prosperous and elevated backgrounds.
Success bred success, struggling institutions like humanist colleges at Ingolstadt and Dilligen were entrusted to them in the mid-1500s. Vienna also gave them its university.
Expansion originated from a range of teaching methods that are obvious today, cutting edge at the time.
All Jesuits were university graduates and applied a common curriculum throughout the colleges.
Combined humanist grammar schools with deeper, systematic study of theology and philosophy.
Schooling open to anyone who could pass the entrance examination, no tuition fees.
Pupils streamed into classes according to ability, enabling progression.
More than one teacher at each establishment allowed for specialist instruction with regular lesson plans.
The education program had broad appeal across German society.
Those destined for a higher clerical career often sent to the order’s Collegium Germanicum founded in Rome in 1552 and funded by the papacy.
Enrollment declined during 30YW, but the Collegium had a profound impact on the Reichskirche, providing around a seventh of all cathedral canons during the first half of the 1600s.
Note- There were other, non-Jesuit Catholic universities. Eight universities were also founded in Protestant territories in the century after 1527. Total student numbers across the Empire rose from 2700 in 1500, to 8000 by 1618; a figure not reached again until the 1800s.
Jesuit influence was also blunted by other traditions within German Catholicism.
Secular Catholic rulers were keen to combat heresy, as religious dissent was seen as the first step to sedition.
Many ecclesiastical princes viewed the Jesuits with suspicion, Bavaria and the Habsburgs were therefore the order’s principal primary sponsors within the Empire.
Spread of the Reformation largely confined Catholicism to imperial church territories. Apart from the Habsburg lands, only Bavaria and Lorraine remained as large Catholic principalities by the mid-1500s.
Though numerous, most ecclesiastical territories were relatively small, with underdeveloped political institutions.
Government in each territory was largely in the hands of a cathedral or abbey chapter that elected the bishop or abbot.
Election to an abbey or bishopric depended on the membership of the relevant chapter, canons preferred candidates who shared their views.
Jurisdiction was fragmented by the presence of other collegiate churches and religious foundations.
Five collegiate churches in Speyer controlled a quarter of all parishes. Half of the Archbishopric of Trier was incorporated into foundations and monasteries beyond the Archbishop’s direct control.
Tridentine decrees enhanced the powers of bishops to supervise autonomous foundations and parish clergy, who opposed the interference in their affairs.
Most middle and senior clergy in the Empire associated faith with lifestyle and local interest. The Catholic establishment was closely tied to the noble and patrician elite in their area, and shared their worldly, Renaissance humanist outlook.
Long-standing patterns of placing younger sons and unmarried daughters in the Reichskirche, providing suitable social status and comfortable income.
As institutions of the Empire, religious foundations were woven into the imperial constitution, with their own rights and prerogatives. They excised political jurisdiction that was local and particular, clashing with the Jesuits’ allegiance to Rome.
The political influence associated with the imperial church encouraged the continuing pattern of absenteeism by accumulating benefices and sees wherever possible.
Tridentine reforms were implemented only slowly and selectively, making their main impact only in the later 1600s, long after 30YW.
Reforming in favor of militancy was met by strong opposition on the ground, where priests lived as members of the community and were conscious their position depended largely on how they were accepted by parishioners.
Priests on the ground saw the human face of everyday life, which the militants urging confessional conformity frequently ignored or misunderstood.
Doctrine was bent to fit local practices, pragmatic and material interests, contributing to the strength and diversity of Catholicism within the Empire.
The Lutheran Reformation had wanted to eliminate the above heterodoxy within Catholicism. It had not wanted to create its own church, only reform the existing one.
The one place Martin Luther contested papal authority was on his refusal to accept Luther’s interpretation of doctrine.
Doctrine became central to Lutheranism, setting it apart from Catholicism and sustaining a distinct community of believers.
Luther translated the Bible into German, to free the source of all Truth from papal misinterpretation.
Luther’s followers considered themselves an evangelical moment, only gradually adopting the label “Protestant” that derived from the formal protest by Lutheran princes at the decision of of the Catholic majority in the 1529 Reichstag at Speyer to take action against heresy.
The dispute forced Lutherans to define their beliefs in a series of written statements, beginning with the Confession of Augsburg that was delivered to the Emperor at the Reichsstag meeting in that city in 1530.
Stress on the Word of God direct from the Bible lessened the role of the priest as the intermediary, and prompted Luther to reduce the sacraments to only Baptism and the Eucharist.
On the latter, accepted the Catholic belief in the real presence of Jesus, but increased lay participation in the service.
Concept of justification by faith alone.
Separated justification -salvation- from sanctification -good works- by arguing that entry to Heaven cameo as a gift from God and could not be earned.
An individual was not trapped in a cycle of sin, confession, contrition, penance, since God alone decided who would be saved.
The faithful should concentrate on living a good, Christian life, rather than constantly prepare for a “good death” through confession, good works, or indulgences.
Luther did not expect all the implications of his doctrines- the German Peasants War of 1524-1526.
Concept of a “priesthood of all believers” implicitly challenged the political as well as clerical hierarchy. Provided a theological basis for the radicalism that culminated in the German Peasants War.
This war attempted to settle a host of local grievances, and contained a powerful political image of an Empire without any intermediaries between the Emperor and the “common man”.
Crushed by with considerable brutality by both Protestant and Catholic princes.
The rebellion left a lasting impact on the Empire, rulers allowed the ordinary folk to take their grievances to court, binding the territories further within the imperial judicial system, and strengthening the hierarchical imperial constitution.
The German Peasants’ War fundamentally changed Lutheranism. Luther condemned the peasants, and shifted Lutheranism in a more conservative direction.
Theologians reaffirmed the role of secular authority in supervising both laity and clergy. (So put down the “bad peasants”.)
Enhanced clerics as guardians of true doctrine. (So what the “bad peasants” say is wrong.)
Fragmentation of political authority within the Empire resulted in separate Lutheran church structures in each territory adopting the new faith.
The territory’s ruler broke ties with Rome and assumed the supervisory role previously held by the bishop or archbishop in whose diocese his lands lay.
The Lutheran distinction between worldly and spiritual matters entrusted the episcopal powers to two new institutions.
Responsibility for spiritual management was entrust to a consistory staffed by theologians who vetted parish priests according to their conformity with the approved doctrine.
Each priest was expected to deliver at least 200 sermons a year, including two each Sunday.
Drafts of sermons had to be submitted to the consistory for approval. Hourglasses were set up in the churches to make sure the parishioners were not shortchanged. (A sermon thats not too short, joy.)
Regular sermons reinforced the community of believers, and provided a convenient opportunity for secular authorities disseminate their decrees.
Thus, church services dovetailed with state social-discipling, both spiritual and secular authorities instilling obedience, morality, thrift.
A church council was entrusted with the Kirchengut -church property- the newly Protestant prince confiscated from the Catholic Church. They were to use the property to support the Protestant territorial church.
This was not “secularization” as Henry VIII did by dissolving the monasteries in the English Reformation.
Some money was diverted to the princely household or music at court, but otherwise the Catholic assets were consolidated and given to the Lutheran church council.
Spiritual practices with no foundation in Lutheran doctrine were discontinued- e.g. no ritual of the masses for the dead in (the abolished) convents and monasteries.
But, other activities carried out by Catholic foundations: poor relief, the provision of hospitals and education, were continued.
Political leadership from the princes was necessary to defend Lutheranism within the Empire.
Charles V tried to settle the doctrinal controversy by sponsoring meetings of theologians, they failed. He invoked public peace legislation because Catholics accused Protestants of stealing Church property and fomenting sedition within the Empire.
Charles V gets the Reichstag to hold the Diet of Worms in 1521, Luther is summoned there to answer the charges of the Papacy against him. Luther refuses to recant.
As “defender of the faith” Charles V puts an imperial ban on Luther, the highest secular sanction, declaring him an outlaw and subject to pursuit and punishment under the framework of public peace.
The spread of Lutheranism among the princes and imperial cities entrenches the Catholic-Protestant schism, shattering the unity of law and religion on which the Emperor’s verdict had been based.
Denial of the Pope’s right to judge doctrine by the princes, is followed by their belief subordination to God superseded subordination to the Empire.
The political story of the Reformation is essentially that of a series of Protestant attempt to postpone or annual the Edict of Worms from 1521, by mobilizing through the imperial constitution.
Protestant territories were larger and more populous, but in the imperial institutions, they remained outnumbered by the smaller and more numerous Catholic Estates.
Threat of prosecution through the Reichskammergericht forced the Elector of Saxony, Landgrave of Hessen, and other Lutheran princes to form the Schmalkaldic League in 1531, notable as a Protestant defense association outside of the constitution.
Problems with France and the Ottomans kept the Emperor busy until 1546, where his large army defeated the Elector of Saxony at the battle of Muhlberg in April 1547. The victory allowed Charles to impose his solution to the Empire’s problems.
The doctrinal dispute was settled in 1547 through a compromise statement of faith known as the Interim, for it was provisional pending papal approval.
Contained some concessions to Protestants, but broadly endorsed Catholic interpretation on most points.
Meanwhile, the Empires Holy Roman and Habsburg was reorganized to make things easier for the dynasty to manage.
Burgundy and the Italian possessions went to the future King of Spain, Charles V’s son, Phillip II of Spain.
Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia went to Charles V’s brother Ferdinand, who would succeed him as Holy Roman Emperor.
The remaining non-Habsburg imperial Estates were to be brought in special alliance with the Emperor.
Saxony was taken from the senior Ernestine branch of the Wettin family, and passed to its junior Albertine under Duke Moritz branch because the Ernestine had opposed the Emperor and the Albertine had sided with him in the Schmalkaldic War.
These sweeping demonstrations of Imperial authority alarmed even its beneficiaries- the Emperor had to be made to back down.
Duke Moritz, motivated by both personal and political motives -Charles held his father-in-law the Landgrave of Hessen captive- conspired to reverse parts of the Interim.
France was welcomed by the German princes to occupy the bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun on the Western frontier in 1552. (Foreign intrusion was deemed acceptable? Charlie 5 must’ve really crossed a line.)
Charles withdrew to Innsbruck as his empire turned against him, he was very old and he left his brother and heir Ferdinand to negotiate with the rebels.
Ferdinand granted Moritz’s demand and agreed to the Peace of Passau in June 1552. The demands were:
Confirmation of Moritz’s electoral title.
Release of Moritz’s father-in-law.
Suspension of the Interim.
Another assembling of the Reichstag to reach a definite settlement.
Charles let the more pragmatic and moderate Ferdinand establish the Religious Peace of Augsburg in 1555.
Charles transferred the imperial government to Ferdinand the following year, retiring to his other land of Spain and dying there two years later. The Habsburgs then officially split into the senior Spanish and junior Austrian lines (but who could tell the difference when there was so much uncle-niece incest?).
The Peace of Augsburg represented a deep crisis for German Lutheranism.
Moritz of Saxony was controversial -remember he fought against the proudly Lutheran Schmalkaldic League- threatening to discredit princely leadership of the religious movement.
Armed opposition to the Emperor threw political and religious loyalties into conflict.
France kept the three bishoprics they were invited to “temporarily” occupy, the dangers of seeking foreign help.
Inability to agree on political action fueled disagreement over doctrine.
Martin Luther died in 1546, coinciding with the moment of crisis. As his followers faced the stark choice of compromising their core beliefs, or defying the Emperor and throwing the Empire into civil war.
Pragmatists followed Philipp Melanchthon, who represented the Eramsian humanist strand of Lutheranism, that was already prepared to accept peripheral elements of traditional worship, in return for recognition within the imperial constitution.
Gnesio Lutherans -Greek for “the real thing” were the opposition of the Philippists.
Insisted on the original 1530 Confession of Augsburg, rejecting the “Variata” version prepared by Melanchthon ten years later with Martin Luther’s tacit approval.
To the Gnesio Lutherans, the Interim represented the first step towards eradication and they thought the Book of Revelation was at hand, true Christians vs. the Antichrist.
Were centered in Magdeburg and defied the Interim until imperial troops took the city in November 1552.
Conflict caused the Philippists and Gnesios to fragment.
Flacians- named after the Croatin Lutheran Matthias Flacius. A more radical group the Gnesio Lutherans purged from their ranks.
Flacius was convinced deformed babies and other things heralded the physical degeneration of mankind, the end of the world was at hand.
More orthodox Lutheran recruits were born into the Reformation, not before it, they gave up on the Philippist hope of eventual reconciliation with Catholics. trying instead instead to convert them. They were now making their careers in the new Lutheran church establishment.
Uncertainty lead some Lutherans to convert back to Catholicism.
As leader of the evangelical Lutheran princes, Saxony tried to broker a compromise after 1573.
The Saxony court preachers compiled the Book of Concord between 1577 and 1580.
Endorsed Gnesio Lutheranism as the correct interpretation of their faith, rejecting all of Flacianism and most of Philippism.
Saxony led the drive to sup the Protestant imperial Estates, securing acceptance of the Book of Concord from 20 princes, 30 other lords, and 40 cities by 1583.
Protestant dissenters criticized this imposition of orthodoxy as the “Book of Discord”. Claiming the book sacrificed the Reformation’s potential to truly transform Christian life.
Those seeking a “second Reformation” became associated with the theology of the French reformer Jean Calvin. Whose ideas spread into Germany after the 1555 Religious Peace of Augsburg.
The Elector Palatine converted to Calvinism around 1560, giving Calvinism a considerable boost. And it helped ensure that, unlike elsewhere in Europe, Calvinism in the Holy Roman Empire was led by princes, rather than more humble folk.
Around 20 counts and minor princes followed the elector’s example by 1618, but the Landgrave of Hessen (1603) and the Elector of Brandenburg (1613) were the only other important rulers to embrace the new faith.
Calvinists called themselves “the Reformed”, because “Calvinism” had connotations of an illegal sect.
The Reformed aimed complete Luther’s Reformation, by eradicating the remnants of “papist superstition” in both ritual and doctrine.
High altar and clerical vestments- gone!
Iconoclasm! Paints and sculptures are powerless idols.
Ministers adopted sober, academic dress, appearing as professionals qualified to preach and teach.
Long-standing elements of doctrine were rejected- exorcism at infant baptism.
Real presence at the Eucharist. Calvin abhorred the notion Christ was physically present, because this meant his ingested body eventually came out as excrement.
Communion was purely a commemorative ceremony, East Frisians went so far as to drink beer instead of wine.
Calvin, like Luther, also developed some Catholic ideas in new directions- predestination.
Predestination gave his religion its dynamic self-confidence, while fostering the seeds of doubt and indecision in some of his followers at the same time.
Parts of the early Christian church condemned the view that merit and following Christian tenets alone could earn one eternal reward.
St. Augustine wrote in favor of predestination, that God alone decided that some people before their birth were predestined to be saved- “the Elect”.
Calvin disagreed the Catholic interpretation. Because it made God seem weak if all he did was save some people in advance, as if he wanted to save others, but could not.
Double Predestination- Jean Calvin’s unique interpretation. God alone chose those who were predestined to be saved, and those He did not, He alone predestined as reprobates- sinners destined for Hell.
Calvin discouraged individual speculation on fate, believers simply had to trust in God, and that faith would lead them away from sin and towards a life lived according to the Commandments.
But, doubt would not go away, inducing a brittle confidence in many Calvinists that crumbled in the face of adversity, as they interpreted personal reverses as signs they were not among the Elect.
Calvin’s reorganization of the Genevan church provided a model for the new doctrine of living to accompany the Calvinist beliefs. The model was copied to varying extents elsewhere.
The princely character of the “second Reformation” in the Empire meant there was already a Protestant church structure in place.
Calvinists recruited its German converts from the Lutherans, not Catholics. As the Lutherans were only recently established, converting the system required only minor adjustments.
A system of mutual monitoring was established, where parishioners and ministers were encouraged to report on each other’s doctrinal conformity and moral standards.
Social discipling was attractive to the princes and urban magistrates, as they struggled to master the problems stemming from inflation, population growth, rising underemployment and poverty.
Lutherans and Catholics also wanted doctrinal purity to be matched by moral renewal, but the Calvinists were convinced their discipline was the greatest, and combined with their theology, meant they were the true heirs to the church of its earliest centuries.
Calvinist fundamentalism was reinforced by its international character. Its followers were widely scattered across Europe, nowhere in the political majority.
Lutherans in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, embraced truth and honesty as true characteristics of their ethnicity, deviousness was the way of foreigners. They across geopolitical boundaries relished in the defiance of the foreign Rome.
Calvinism took root in individual cities and princely homes, without an obvious center. Each community looked to established ones elsewhere for guidance and support.
The Elector Palatine, as a prestigious Elector, became the obvious choice for German Calvinists to rally behind.
The Heidelberg Catechism of 1563 became the doctrinal model for Calvinists within the Empire, supplanting the influence of Geneva in the 1580s.
Over 200 Hungarian and 500 French students attended Heidelberg University between 1560 and 1610, strengthening the Palatinate’s international Calvinist standing.
The Elector welcomed French Huguenot (Calvinist) and Dutch Calvinist refugees fleeing their religious civil wars which began in 1562 and 1566 respectively.
Calvinists identified with the biblical Israelites, often a hard life on the road. Finding a home in new communities, forging bonds with coreligionists of other countries that lasted a lifetime.
Believers saw their local struggles as part of a wider battle between good and evil, especially as Spanish involvement in the French and Dutch civil wars reinforced the impression of righteous Calvinists confronted by a national Catholic conspiracy at every turn.
Limits to Confessionalization
Society by the late 1500s was becoming deeply divided by religion. Many aspects of life were confessionalized, erecting invisible barriers between or even within communities.
A person’s name faith could be discerned from their name.
Catholics liked Joseph, Maria.
Calvinists disliked saints’ names and preferred those from the Old Testament: Abraham, Daniel, Zacharias, Rachel, Sarah.
The German language was affected by the religious schism.
Luther’s Bible translation spread his Saxon dialect throughout central and parts of northern Germany as the correct written form.
The Jesuit standardization of High German became entrenched in the Catholic south of the Empire.
When a territory changed its confessional allegiance, its written language followed suit. And this applied for individual believers as well.
Calvinists rejected it all.
Lutherans used it in their schools, Jesuits in their colleges.
Catholics- Ave Maria & the saints!
Lutherans & Calvinists- morality.
Pope Gregory XIII declared set the clock back ten days in October and declared the new year was to start on January 1st, 1583. The Gregorian calendar, created to keep Easter and the four seasons properly aligned after centuries of things getting off-kilter.
Protestant scientists -Johannes Kepler- asked Protestants do adopt this new calendar right away, like the Catholics. But the Protestants rejected this as the Pope trying to steal ten days from their lives.
Attempts to impose the Gregorian calendar in Protestant areas was rocky. Many even after imposition by authorities (first in bi-confessional areas) continued to attend Church on “their” Sunday.
However, considerable evidence shows society was not as confessionalized as it was by the early 1700s.
Mixed marriages and social contact remained fairly common in Augsburg prior to Swedish occupation in the 1630s.
Protestants and Catholics drank together in the same taverns without court records recording sectarian brawls.
Hostels became segregated only following the Peace of Westphalia (1648), when magistrates took bi-confessionalism to legal extremes.
Some people outwardly conformed, while inwardly dissenting.
Others selected the beliefs and practices they found most meaningful and useful in their daily lives, regardless of orthodoxy.
Traders sought profit over piety and sold to whoever would buy their wares (no surprise to me, Medieval Venetians sold to heathen Arabs, schismatic Byzantines, and good followers of the Vicar of Christ alike).
It was not possible to escape censorship entirely. But, political fragmentation in the Empire offered opportunities to disseminate and receive a variety of news. -The benefits of weak central authority and diversity.
Fundamentalists of all creeds struggled to stamp distinctive patterns of thought and behavior on a society that carried a rich pre-Reformation heritage.
The humanist educational ideal that spread in the 1400s continued to shape schools, universities, literary clubs regardless of confession.
The lessons may have varied, yet the form of instruction provided at least some common ground.
The wealthy and fortunate continued a tradition of attending several institutions during their studies, often irrespective of their confession.
The common veneration of classical forms helped elevate the exchange of ideas above sectarian strife.
During the 30YW, the very Catholic Emperor still chose Protestants as imperial poet laureates.
Humanism offered the example of Desiderius Erasmus, who pursued a more private faith, free of clerical supervision.
Ferdinand I and his successor Maximillian II sponsored humanists scholars who sought common elements among the confessions as a basis for reuniting Christians.
As France (St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in1572) and the Netherlands descended into sectarian violence, the Holy Roman Empire enjoyed peace.
Proposals of toleration:
Unity against fears of the Islamic Ottomans, who were powerful at this time and threatened all Christians. Very common belief.
Toleration based on loyalty to a strong monarchy over confessional interests. Had some international formulation outside of the empire.
Proposal that toleration should be based on the secular authority having no right to dictate matters of conscience. Toleration should be based on mutual understanding, not political expedience. -A minority view.
Europeans in the 1500s inhabited multiple mental worlds simultaneously, accepting different ideas without trying to reconcile them.
Things that might seem illogical and incompatible today, didn’t necessarily seem so back then.
Militancy was growing, particularly as those who had been born into this divided world and who knew no alternative, reached maturity and positions of influence around 1580.
But, it is impossible to ascribe the outbreak of the 30YW directly to militant sentiment.
Confessional differences entwined with constitutional disputes- that leads to war in 1618.