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    E. Wolgast, Aufsätze zur Reformations- und Reichsgeschichte (Joachim Whaley)

    Francia-Recensio 2017/2 Frühe Neuzeit – Revolution – Empire (1500–1815)

    Eike Wolgast, Aufsätze zur Reformations- und Reichsgeschichte, Tübingen (Mohr Siebeck) 2016, X–583 S. (Jus Ecclesiasticum, 113), ISBN 978-3-16-154198-8, EUR 99,00.

    rezensiert von/compte rendu rédigé par

    Joachim Whaley, Cambridge

    Over the course of a long career in Göttingen (1971–1976) and Heidelberg (1976–2004), and in retirement since then, Eike Wolgast has made major contributions to our understanding of the Reformation and its impact of the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th century. His books on Luther’s political »Gutachten«1, on Thomas Müntzer2and on the impact of the Reformation on the Reichskirche3stand out as landmarks of research which are essential reading for anyone who sets out to work in the relevant fields. The foundations for this œuvrewere laid in Wolgast’s Göttingen doctoral dissertation on the genesis of the Wittenberg edition of Luther’s works and in his subsequent work for the Kommission zur Herausgabe der Werke Luthers. This collection of 24 essays complements Wolgast’s books and demonstrates his mastery of the essay genre. He is always thorough, providing careful analysis of the existing scholarship to show how his own reflections relate to it, yet he also writes with a clarity and lightness of touch that makes reading him a pleasure.

    The essays included cover the whole range of Wolgast’s research. Several illuminate the process whereby the Reformation became established in the empire, especially the negotiations at the Reichstag and the political problems posed by the desire to maintain the peace within the empire. Several essays examine the impact of the Reformation on the Reichskirche and the question of a church council as a possible solution to the problems of the German church. A series of essays illuminates the attitude of Luther and other reformers to the prince bishops and to other political problems of the early decades, including a fascinating piece on Johannes Brenz and the Peasants War and the question of resistance. Three essays examine Thomas Müntzer’s views of authority and resistance, his «Fürstenpredigt«and the statements he made in captivity.

    It is particularly gratifying that the collection also includes Wolgast’s essays on minorities. These include an important piece on reform of the church and the world in the utopian visions of the early Reformation and another on the political theory and practice of Anabaptism in the first half of the 16th century. Two others explore the theme of the Jews as subjects and objects at the Reichstag under Charles V and the view of them as non-Christian aliens alongside the Turks, contrasting the time it took for attitudes to them to soften compared with attitudes within the empire to Christian »enemies«.

    Finally, wide-ranging chapters on religious peace as a political problem in early modern Europe, on the theory and practice of peace treaties in modern history, on the significance of religious frontiers for the formation of political frontiers, and on the state and secularisation underline the significance of the Reformation for the development of Europe in the longer term.

    With one exception, all of the essays have been published before and the texts remain unchanged except for the addition in some cases of further bibliographical material. One can only hope that Eike Wolgast continues to write and publish. Meanwhile the pieces reprinted in this volume are testimony to his life-long achievement in illuminating the religious and political development of the Holy Roman Empire in one of its most crucial phases.

    1 Eike Wolgast, Die Wittenberger Theologie und die Politik der evangelischen Stände. Studien zu Luthers Gutachten in politischen Fragen, Gütersloh 1977 (Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte, 47)

    2 Id., Thomas Müntzer. Ein Verstörer der Ungläubigen, Berlin 1988.

    3 Id., Hochstift und Reformation. Studien zur Geschichte der Reichskirche zwischen 1517 und 1648 Stuttgart 1995 (Beiträge zur Geschichte der Reichskirche in der Neuzeit, 16).

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    PSJ Metadata
    Joachim Whaley
    Aufsätze zur Reformations- und Reichsgeschichte
    CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0
    Frühe Neuzeit (1500-1789), Neuzeit / Neuere Geschichte (1789-1918)
    Deutschland / Mitteleuropa allgemein
    Kirchen- und Religionsgeschichte
    Neuzeit bis 1900
    Deutschland (4011882-4), Reformation (4048946-2), Recht (4048737-4)
    PDF document wolgast_whaley.doc.pdf — PDF document, 321 KB
    E. Wolgast, Aufsätze zur Reformations- und Reichsgeschichte (Joachim Whaley)
    URL: https://prae.perspectivia.net/publikationen/francia/francia-recensio/2017-2/fn/wolgast_whaley
    Veröffentlicht am: 20.06.2017 13:21
    Zugriff vom: 30.11.2020 02:39
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