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Cambridge University Press
Enlightenment and the Creation of German Catholicism

Enlightenment and the Creation of German Catholicism

by Michael Printy
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This book tells the story of how eighteenth-century German Catholics rethought the Church. Educated German Catholics envisioned a Church that would solidify the link between religion, civilization, and morality. The first account of the German Catholic Enlightenment, this book explores the ways in which eighteenth-century Germans reconceived the relationship between religion, society, and the state. Seeking a balance between Germany and Rome, Catholic reformers desired a national Church that would enjoy a large measure of autonomy but would still be in communion with the universal Church. In trying to reform the Church, educated Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire questioned not only what it meant to be Catholic, but also what it meant to be German. In the process, they created German Catholicism. Arguing that German confessional identities were recast in the eighteenth century, this book forces a revision of our understanding of the German Enlightenment and its place in modern German history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521478397
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/28/2009
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michael Printy is currently a Visiting Scholar in History at Wesleyan University. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and his B.A. from Yale University. He has published articles in German History and Catholic Historical Review, and he is the co-editor of Politics and Reformations, a two-volume Festschrift for Thomas A. Brady Jr. (2007). He was the winner of a Fulbright Fellowship for study in Germany in 1994 and a DAAD Fellowship in 1999.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Part I. Perfect Societies: Rethinking the Church and the State: 2. The liberty of the German church: Febronianism and the German Gallicans; 3. The German church and the absolute state; 4. Church and empire in the eighteenth century; 5. Collegialism: the rise of the state, and the redefinition of the church; Part II. The Universal Church and the University Class: 6. Catholic enlightenment and the search for a bourgeois Catholicism; 7. A program for reform; 8. Pastors of enlightenment: reforming the secular clergy; 9. Gallican longings: nation and religion in the German enlightenment; 10. Conclusion.

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