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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’Others’ examines the fate of outsiders and unbelievers in the Reformation. Heretics were burned by both confessions to purge them from society. Each burning produced a martyr to inspire coreligionists. Anabaptists were the most intensely hated minority, due to their comprehensive challenge to authority. Toleration had to be extended to dissenters for pragmatic reasons in many cases. Islam continued to be seen as a threat to Christendom. Anti-Semitism intensified in Catholic Europe, but Protestantism was more accommodating. In both the West and East Indies, missionaries and new believers adapted Christianity to a new context, while in Western Europe, the ‘witch craze’ was a consequence of the drive for social purity.

Keywords: Sebastian Castellio; Charles V; Holy Roman Empire; Bartolomé de Las Casas; Maximilian II; Paul IV; Francisco Pizarro; Reformation; Hans Sachs; William Shakespeare; toleration

Chapter.  5484 words.  Illustrated.

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

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