The Reformation of Hungarian Life: Religious, Moral, and Social Discipline
This chapter examines the preoccupation among Hungary's Reformed ministers to constrain disorder of all kinds, and to raise standards of public conduct and private behaviour within their communities. In Hungary, the Reformed church shared the fundamental disciplinary ambitions of sister Calvinist churches elsewhere, dedicated to ongoing reformation of the spiritual and daily life of Reformed congregations. By the early seventeenth century, Hungarian Reformed clergy had embarked upon a campaign to set tighter limits on acceptable moral conduct, and to enforce punishments against those who offended against the standards that they required to be maintained. The international contacts between Hungarian Reformed clergy and western Calvinists were influential in shaping the attitudes of ministers to issues related to religious, moral, and social discipline, particularly on the slowly emerging role of the laity in Hungarian church administration. To impose its standards of social and moral discipline, the church sought the assistance of the secular authorities.
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