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2. Frieden: Renaissance – Humanismus – Reformation

From the book Handbuch Frieden im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit / Handbook of Peace in Early Modern Europe

  • Volker Leppin


Peace: Renaissance - Humanism - Reformation The Medieval and Renaissance term pax was broad, with spiritual and eschatological dimensions. There was nonetheless also a political discussion about peace within states, rather than between them, as the antonym of disorder. Dante and Marsilius of Padua spoke of monarchy as an agency of peace. Nicholas of Cusa advocated a more universal idea of peace between religions. Erasmus wrote about peace between nations in his Querela Pacis (1517) as the opposite of war. Luther followed tradition in writing about internal peace, transforming the Augustinian concept of the two civitates into his theory of two realms and two governments of God. The Swiss Reformation also emphasized peace as something to be upheld by the temporal authorities. The Swiss Anabaptists developed truly pacifist ideas and, as in the Middle Ages, did not think about relations between states but rather about how they themselves should behave in a world that did not tolerate them.

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