Building a Reformed Church and Society: Clergy, Princes, and Nobles
By the early seventeenth century, the different churches in Hungary and Transylvania had become more polarized, with traditional patterns of confessional co-existence increasingly challenged by the force of denominational loyalty. Calvinists, Unitarians, Lutherans, and Catholics drew further apart from one another into confrontation, each developing their own centres of education and institutional hierarchies. This chapter examines Reformed church-building in Hungary and Transylvania and the nature of co-operation between the clergy, princes, magnates, and gentry who supported the Calvinist cause. Reformed ministers worked to win over princes and nobles not only to accept Reformed confessions of faith, but also to adopt high standards of personal morality and to sponsor the imposition of social and moral discipline. This chapter assesses the performance of Reformed princes and nobles in assisting the reform of popular religion and behaviour and charts tensions between the clergy and noble patrons in directing parish life across the region.
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