The Negotiated Reformation: Imperial Cities and the Politics of Urban Reform, 1525-1550

The Negotiated Reformation: Imperial Cities and the Politics of Urban Reform, 1525-1550

by Christopher W. Close
     
 

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Utilizing evidence from numerous imperial cities, this book offers a new explanation for the spread and survival of urban reform during the sixteenth century. By analyzing the operation of regional political constellations, it reveals a common process of negotiation that shaped the Reformation in the Holy Roman Empire. It reevaluates traditional models of reform that

Overview

Utilizing evidence from numerous imperial cities, this book offers a new explanation for the spread and survival of urban reform during the sixteenth century. By analyzing the operation of regional political constellations, it reveals a common process of negotiation that shaped the Reformation in the Holy Roman Empire. It reevaluates traditional models of reform that leave unexplored the religious implications of flexible systems of communication and support among cities. Such networks influenced urban reform in fundamental ways, affecting how Protestant preachers moved from city to city, as well as what versions of the Reformation city councils introduced. This fusion of religion and politics meant that with local variations, negotiation within a regional framework sat at the heart of urban reform. The Negotiated Reformation therefore explains not only how the Reformation spread to almost every imperial city in southern Germany, but also how it survived imperial attempts to repress religious reform.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In this fresh examination of the German Reformation Christopher Close charts a new approach to one of its central puzzles: how and why the cities became the backbone of early Protestantism. Viewing towns as parts of wider urban networks, Close suggests that the success, survival, and resilience of the early reform movement hinged on a carefully tended process of mutual support, communication, collaboration, and coercion that he calls the ‘negotiated Reformation.’ This intriguing new model of urban religious reform promises to re-animate the debate about the triumph of the Reformation in the German cities and might even lend itself to broader applications for other parts of Europe where Protestantism and urban political cultures evolved hand in hand. The impressive research is paired with searching insights into urban politics as German towns were drawn into an era of religious and political upheaval. Very highly recommended.” – Thomas Robisheaux, Duke University

“The depth of Christopher Close’s superb analysis of the Reformation in Eastern Swabia demonstrates the progress in our understanding of the Reformation in the Imperial cities and of the interplay of political and religious forces in the German Reformation. . . . This book makes a significant contribution to the scholarship on the Reformation in the cities and on Imperial politics in the decades before the religious Peace of Augsburg. The Negotiated Reformation will be a source of reference for any future study of urban reform movements in the Holy Roman Empire.” – Peter Wallace, Hartwick College

"Close's book is based on impressive archival sources and secondary works. It should be read by everyone interested in the Reformation." -Brian J. Hale, German Studies Review

"...a detailed look at the nuanced ways in which imperial cities in Eastern Swabia incluenced each other through their formal and informal communication networks." -Rebecca C. Peterson, Sixteenth Century Journal

"This book will be particularly useful to scholars interested in the Holy Roman Empire and cities in the sixteenth century." -Michael S. Springer, Church History

"Christopher Close's study of the interconnected reform movements in eastern Swabian cities offers a welcom alternative to meta-historical explanations that still dominate the historiography of the early Reformation in the Holy Roman Empire." -Jason L. Strandquist, Lutheran Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521760201
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/31/2009
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Christopher W. Close received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently teaching at Princeton University. He has held visiting professorships at several institutions including Kutztown University and the College of New Jersey. His articles have appeared in The Sixteenth Century Journal and Central European History.

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