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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2021

14. Religionsfrieden

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

  • Irene Dingel


Religious Peace Religious peace agreements are regarded as an innovation and special feature of early modern Europe. They aimed to secure the peaceful coexistence of groups of different confessional traditions and generally remained oriented towards the restoration of unity in faith and the reunification of divided Christianity. They contained regulations regarding freedom of belief and worship, decrees concerning enjoyment of selected civil rights and regulations for the restitution or ownership and use of churches and church property. Theological preconditions, political frameworks and legal contexts were decisive for the emergence of religious peace agreements in Europe. Amnesty decrees, a regulated forgetting and dissimulating formulations served to establish and maintain peace. When they were formulated, these agreements were really designed only to tolerate an inevitable evil. In the long term, however, they, paved the way for true religious tolerance.

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