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Confessionalization In Early Modern Germany: A Jewish Perspective

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Chapter Summary

Confessionalization is a concept that has been highly charged and much discussed in recent historiography. Whether seen as an important paradigm, a useful tool for periodization, the question of confessionalization has clearly and significantly affected how we think about early modern Germany. This chapter offers a brief review of the paradigm of confessionalization and looks at the problems and implications of the model. The author asks whether there is evidence that early modern German Jewry experienced significant changes that might be usefully associated with the confessionalization paradigm. The chapter illustrates with a few examples. The criticism of some scholars that the concept of confessionalization is limiting when applied only to the three major confessions - Lutheranism, Calvinism and Catholicism are also significant. Early modern German Jewry was clearly caught in the broader developments of the surrounding society, at the same time that it engaged its own tradition and unique developments.

Keywords: Calvinism; Catholicism; Confessionalization; German Jewry; Lutheranism



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