in The Reformation

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199231317
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191777066 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions


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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)
  • History of Christianity


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‘Politics’ examines the interplay of religion and politics. Religion was of great importance to Reformation rulers, and it was their wishes that had the greatest influence in the shaping of the religious map. Some rulers had genuine religious convictions, acting on reasons other than mere realpolitik. Confessionalization theory gives religion a very functional role, claiming that the use of religion for territorialization and social discipline was a modernizing step. Brutal ideological warfare arose from Reformation politics, and it was only slowly recognized that this would not solve religious differences. Although the Reformation broadly enhanced political authority, it also allowed for the creation of theories of resistance to tyrannical monarchy.

Keywords: Gaspard de Coligny; Synod of Dordrecht; Holy Roman Empire; Pilgrimage of Grace; Reformation; Religion; St Bartholomew's Day Massacre; Thirty Years War; Council of Trent; Wars of Religion; William of Orange

Chapter.  4581 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) ; History of Christianity

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