Mennonites in Early Modern Poland and Prussia

Overview

At a time when religious conflicts and persecution plagued early modern Europe, Poland and Prussia were havens for Mennonites and other religious minorities. Noted Anabaptist scholar Peter J. Klassen examines this extraordinary example of religious tolerance.

Through extensive archival research in Poland, Germany, and the Netherlands, Klassen unearths rich material that has rarely, if ever, been studied previously. He demonstrates how the interaction of religious, political, and...

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Mennonites in Early Modern Poland and Prussia

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Overview

At a time when religious conflicts and persecution plagued early modern Europe, Poland and Prussia were havens for Mennonites and other religious minorities. Noted Anabaptist scholar Peter J. Klassen examines this extraordinary example of religious tolerance.

Through extensive archival research in Poland, Germany, and the Netherlands, Klassen unearths rich material that has rarely, if ever, been studied previously. He demonstrates how the interaction of religious, political, and economic factors created a situation in Poland and Prussia that permitted a diversity of religious beliefs and practices.

Mennonites in Early Modern Poland and Prussia focuses on the large Mennonite community in these countries. Klassen reveals how the Anabaptist groups were treated and explores whether the uncommon religious freedom they enjoyed gave rise to a flourishing of their faith or a falling away from its central tenets.

Early modern Poland and Prussia are virtually ignored in most studies of the Reformation. Klassen brings them to light and life by focusing on an unusual oasis of tolerance in the midst of a Europe convulsed by the wars of religion.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Mennonite Historian - Richard D. Thiessen
Pete Klassen has made a valuable contribution to Mennonite historiography, and this book should be read by anyone interested in understanding the history of the Mennonites in Poland and Prussia.
Sixteenth Century Journal - Dariusz M. Brycko
An excellent and much-needed work.
Sixteenth-Century Journal
An excellent and much-needed work.

— Dariusz M. Brycko

Journal of Religion - Adam Darlage
Klassen's narrative makes an important contribution to the study of religion, especially for the reader interested in the lives of minority religious groups within contexts of religious pluralism.
Journal of Church History - James M. Stayer
Worthwhile book.
Slavic Review - Paul W. Knoll
A significant contribution to Mennonite history.
Journal of Religion

Klassen's narrative makes an important contribution to the study of religion.

— Adam Darlage

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Peter J. Klassen is professor emeritus of history at California State University, Fresno, and the author of Europe in the Reformation, A Homeland for Strangers: An Introduction to Mennonites in Poland and Prussia, and The Reformation: Change and Stability.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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