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Early Modern European Civilization and Its Political and Cultural Dynamism
Heinz Schilling

The Menahem Stern Jerusalem Lectures

2008 • 144 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
History / Religion

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“Schilling concisely limns three major fields of his own research, neatly tied together in a consideration of their contribution to the dynamism that moved Europe from the Middle Ages to... [continued in Reviews below]”—H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews

A discussion of the author’s confessionalization paradigm as a model for understanding European state formation

Based on a series of lectures given at the Historical Society of Israel in 2006, this volume offers a rare opportunity for English language readers to appreciate the groundbreaking work of historian Heinz Schilling. As Schilling argues here, the emergence of the European state system was a direct result of the rise of regionally dominant religious beliefs and the resultant formation of national identities. This is not only an introduction to his paradigmatic concept of “confessionalization” and the emergence of the state system in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; it is also an effort to understand the impact of migration and the role of religious minorities as agents of economic, social, and cultural change during this period. The book concludes with a tantalizing discussion of the way in which secular authority did not arise exclusive from religion but was often inspired by the inherent dualism of the Latinate culture, characterized by a long-held separation between the spiritual and secular powers. The very fundamentalisms that fed the inferno of the Thirty Years War were only brought to heel by the very nature of European religious authority. Schilling uses his discussion of the confessionalization concept and the rise of the state system as a model of historical typology that will serve to ease historians’ embrace of post-national, post-European, and global historiography.

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Reviews / Endorsements

“Schilling concisely limns three major fields of his own research, neatly tied together in a consideration of their contribution to the dynamism that moved Europe from the Middle Ages to global ascendance in the modern era, all in language accessible to any historically interested audience. As such, the book can be recommended to just such an audience. Specialists will, of course, prefer Schilling’s own longer works on the same topics. But for quick entry into the thinking of one of the doyens of early modern history, one does not need to look any further.”—H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews

“The book will be of particular interest to students of international history, because it summarizes much of what appears in Schilling’s more substantial recent work, Konfessionalisierung und Staatsinteressen 1559-1660, as well as already going beyond it in some respects . . . [with] Schilling’s convincing arguments, notably the notion of a distinct form of confessional migration, and the religious elements in later secular concepts like justice and the rule of law.”—International History Review

“Schilling’s arguments are always trenchant: they will provoke much debate.”—Ecclesiastical History

“Heinz Schilling is one of Europe’s most distinguished social historians of the early modern era. This set of lectures offers a challenging, general interpretation of the main themes of more than three decades of research: religion and confessionalization, minorities and mobility, and state-formation and the European state system. It is most welcome to have in English his broad-reaching criticism of German and other European interpretations of this era’s history.”—Thomas A. Brady, Jr., University of California at Berkeley

“This recent cycle of lectures, delivered in Israel by the acknowledged dean of Confessionalization theory, offers a brief but rich introduction to some of Schilling’s current positions, including his stimulating and provocative arguments about confessional migration and confessional fundamentalism.”—William Monter, Professor Emeritus of History, Northwestern University

HEINZ SCHILLING holds the chair in Early Modern European History at the History Department of Humboldt University in Berlin. He is a member of the Berlin Brandenburgische (former Prussian), the British, the Royal Dutch, and the European Academy of Sciences; Laureatus 2002 of the Dutch Heinecken Prize in History; President of the Verein für Reformationsgeschichte, and European Managing Editor of the Archive for Reformation History. He is the author of numerous books and articles.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:14 -0500