Confessional Identity in East-Central Europe

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This book considers the emergence of a remarkable diversity of churches in east-central Europe between the 16th and 18th centuries, which included Catholic, Orthodox, Hussite, Lutheran, Bohemian Brethren, Calvinist, anti-Trinitarian and Greek Catholic communities. Contributors assess the extraordinary multiplicity of confessions in the Transylvanian principality, as well as the range of churches in Poland, Bohemia, Moravia and Hungary. Essays focus on how each church sought to establish its own identity in a crowded market-place of religious ideas, and the extent to which printed literature brokered the popular reception of religious doctrine. This book addresses how ideas about religion spread within the largely illiterate societies of east-central Europe, especially through catechisms, and how printed literature was used to instruct congregations about doctrinal truth, to encourage the faithful to pious devotions, and to shape the religious life and identity of local communities.

Author Biography: Graeme Murdock, Lecturer in Modern History, University of Birmingham.

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Editorial Reviews

Stemming from papers presented at a conference at the U. of Cluj, Romania, in the summer of 1999, the 11 essays of this volume consider various aspects of Protestant and Catholic practice, reform, politics, and literature in 16th and 17th-century East-Central Europe, particularly Hungary and Transylvania. The contributors are academics (and one doctoral student) in history (mainly), Hungarian literature, and Russian and Slavonic studies in Romania, Germany, New Zealand, Israel, and the UK. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of figures
Notes on contributors
Note on place-names
1 Religious reform, printed books and confessional identity 1
2 Luther and the 'Hussite' catechism of 1522 31
3 Protestant vernacular catechisms and religious reform in sixteenth-century east-central Europe 49
4 Shaping Transylvanian anti-Trinitarian identity in an urban context 64
5 Calvinist catechizing and Hungarian Reformed identity 81
6 Building a Romanian Reformed community in seventeenth-century Transylvania 99
7 Catholic devotional literature in seventeenth-century Transylvania 121
8 Catholic identity and ecclesiastical politics in early modern Transylvania 134
9 The First Greek Catholic catechisms in Hungary and Transylvania 153
10 The confessional identity of the Transylvanian Greek Catholic Church 167
11 Attitudes towards the Jews and Catholic identity in eighteenth-century Poland 181
Bibliography 194
Index 199
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