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New attitudes towards the jews in the era of reformation and counter-reformation: The patronage of Bishop Echter von Mespelbrunn

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Chapter Summary

Even today, Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn, who reigned as bishop of Würzburg for more than forty years (1573–1617), is remembered as one of the outstanding personalities in a long line of ecclesiastical sovereigns of that episcopality. This chapter examines one aspect of Bishop Echter’s program of church renewal, his patronage of churches and chapels dedicated to the miraculous bleeding host (Heilig Blut), especially those whose legends linked them to sacrileges committed by Jews against the eucharistic host. It presents a brief sketch of the treatment of the Jews in the episcopal territories of Würzburg during Echter’s reign, and considers this treatment in relation to that of other minorities and outsiders, in order to gain a better understanding of the Jews’ position amidst the social and political ferment preceding the Thirty Years War.

Keywords: church renewal; eucharistic host; Jews; Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn; Würzburg



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