Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Friedrich II. von Preußen und die Schwenckfelder in Schlesien

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte

Frederick II neither tolerated the Schwenckfeldians in Silesia as an independent denomination nor recognized them, but, rather from a legal basis demanded that they be incorporated into the Lutheran Church. With the acknowledgement of the Schwenckfeldian movement as an independant denomination, he would have gone beyond article VII of the Instrumenta Pacis Osnabrigense, jeopardizing future peace negotiations with the House of Habsburg. However, he did promise the Schwenckfeldians that the government would respect their personal faith and conscience and would be willing to protect them from attack, though limited by the reason of state which would be endangered if the fundamental articles of the Christian religion were openly denied. For if these were negated one could not discount the possibility that not only Maria Theresea but also the Protestant and Catholic subjects would take offence, causing tension and diminishing the prosperity of the State. The philosopher of Sanssouci himself held freedom of faith and conscience highly, but felt it had to be subordinate to the welfare of the state. The actual reason for he gave this assurance to the Schwenckfeldians though, was not merely to give his subjects a relative amount of freedom, but, more important, to encourage further immigration into his lands. Frederick II, who saw himself as the first servant of his state, thereby hoped to raise the density of population in relatively depopulated areas, to promote manufacturing and trade, and with it the prosperity of the state. The positive impulse for the attitude of Frederic II against the Schwenckfeldians was therefore in the last analysis based on political motives. His concession of freedom of faith and conscience to the Schwenckfeldians was in principle possible only because he had granted such freedom to all his Silesian subjects - who had to belong to one of the three confessions recognized by the Peace of Westphalia- on the condition that they would not deny reverence to God or subservience to the State. In comparison to the intolerant attitude of many contemporary states which gave their subjects no liberty of faith or conscience, the position which the state of Frederic II hat taken vis-a-vis the Schwenckfeldians in Silesia therefore signifies a great step forward. This position, however, was considerably less than the religious freedom enjoyed by those Schwenckfeldians who emigrated to Pennsylvania.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation