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Apocalypticism, Millenarianism and Prophecy in Central Europe, c. 1560-1660
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Apocalypticism, Millenarianism and Prophecy in Central Europe, c. 1560-1660 (Hardback)

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The intellectual history of central Europe between the mid-sixteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries has not received the same level of scholarly attention as the period of the earlier Magisterial Reformation. The Holy Roman Empire, increasingly fragmented during this period, was viewed in the nationalist historiography of the nineteenth and early twentieth century as politically and therefore culturally backward, whilst the dominance of Reformation studies in Germany by Lutheran theologians has suppressed the study of a rich variety of intellectual traditions in tension with the mainstream confessions. In order to rescue and map out the complex intellectual geography of this region, this volume addresses the role of millenarianism upon concepts of further, general and ultimately universal reformation. For whilst the centrality of apocalyptic expectation to the world-view of the early protestant reformers is now generally appreciated, scholars are only beginning to reveal an alternative tradition that nourished and rekindled late-medieval hopes, brutally repressed in the early phases of the Reformation, for a dawning new age which would complete the magisterial reformation of theology, church and ritual with a reformation of inner spiritual life, of medicine, philosophy and education, and of state and society. Fully contextualised by a substantial historiographical introduction - surveying for the first time the hitherto largely independent traditions of research on millenarianism in Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Scandinavia - the volume not only deepens understanding of eschatological beliefs within the concept of universal reform, but also places future transnational work in this field on a firm foundation for the first time.

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