Article

Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, 1760–1871: Enlightenment, Emancipation, New Forms of Piety

George S. Williamson

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199237395
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199237395.013.0010

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, 1760–1871: Enlightenment, Emancipation, New Forms of Piety

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The major focus of this article is the study of the amalgamation of various religions that were practiced in German society. Friedrich Karl von Moser's lament in On the German National Spirit (1765) is vivid testimony to the fact that, from the beginning, the German question was a question of religion. According to Moser, the notion of a ‘Catholic’ Germany opposing a ‘Protestant’ Germany was so deeply embedded that even two quite open-minded individuals, if they were of differing confessions, had to overcome a ‘strongly rooted revulsion’ in order to associate with each other. This article examines some of the major shifts in German religious life in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Until quite recently, scholarship tended to present religion in this era as first accommodating, then resisting, and ultimately succumbing to the forces of modernity. A detailed analysis of confessional conflicts, theological conflicts between Christians and Jews concludes this article.

Keywords: Protestants; Catholics; Jews; Enlightenment; emancipation; German society; theological conflicts

Article.  11324 words. 

Subjects: History ; Social and Cultural History

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