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"Professionalization" and "Confessionalization": the Place of Physics, Philosophy, and Arts Instruction At Central European Academic Institutions During the Reformation Era

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image of Early Science and Medicine

During the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, physics was regularly taught as part of instruction in philosophy and the arts at Central European schools and universities. However, physics did not have a special or privileged status within that instruction. Three general indicators of this lack of special status are suggested in this article. First, teachers of physics usually were paid less than teachers of most other university-level subject-matters. Second, very few Central European academics during this period appear to have made a career out of teaching physics. And third, Reformation Era schools and universities in Central Europe emphasized language instruction; such instruction not only was instrumental in promoting the confessional-i.e., Calvinist, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic-agendas of those same schools and universities, but also helped to prepare students for service in nascent but growing state governments.

Affiliations: 1: Alabama State University (Montgomery, Alabama)


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