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Polemics of Confessionalization: Depictions of Jews and Jesuits in Early Modern Germany

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the ways in which Jews and Jesuits, two small, but particularly prominent religious "outsider" groups, were represented in confessional polemics in early modern Germany. It contributes to the history of Jews and Jesuits in early modern Germany, as well as to the history of the confessionalizing societies themselves. While there are many different anti-Jewish and anti-Jesuit texts and representations, the chapter selects a few individual works, particularly from the late 16th century, as representative for the sake of an initial analysis. The age of confessionalization was one of consolidation, in which traditional motifs were continued, recirculated, and used in new ways that would shape European religion and politics well into modernity. The representation of outsider groups, such as Jews and Jesuits, was utilized fully in this process.

Keywords: anti-Jesuit texts; anti-Jewish texts; confessional polemics; early modern Germany; Jesuits; Jews



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