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Loss And Gain In A Salzburg Convent: Tridentine Reform, Princely Absolutism, And The Nuns Of Nonnberg (1620 To 1696)

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Chapter Summary

In 1620, the Benedictine nuns of Nonnberg Abbey were confronted with a fresh initiative by Salzburg's prince-archbishop urging them to complete the implementation of reforms based on provisions of the Council of Trent. Scholars have extensively documented the restrictive impact of Tridentine reform on early-modern convents, especially the effects associated with strict enclosure. They point to the reduced personal freedom of nuns, decreased autonomy and visibility of convents, expenses of construction necessitated by strict enclosure, disruption of customary forms of worship, and burdensome conflicts with church authorities. By 1613, enclosure was not a primary issue any more, and there is no indication that the nuns of Nonnberg engaged in a lavish or scandalous lifestyle. As in many other convents, the nuns of Nonnberg were reluctant to adopt Tridentine reforms wholesale and managed to stave off their full implementation for some forty years.

Keywords: Council of Trent; nuns of Nonnberg; Salzburg convent; Tridentine reform



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