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The Reformation in Poland-Lithuania as a European Networking Process

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The Reformation in Poland-Lithuania broke through during the reign of Sigismund Augustus. It built on European networks and made use of a diverse range of ideas. This resulted in the emergence of a pluriform Protestant church structure. At the beginning, Königsberg was an important connecting point in the Reformation networks that extended into neighbouring Poland-Lithuania. It facilitated exchange between German, Polish, and Lithuanian-speaking groups, and brought their representatives together in a cooperative collective. The Wittenberg influences that reached Poland-Lithuania via Königsberg were supplemented by Reformed and Antitrinitarian influences, with links between the Polish-Lithuanian elites and Zürich and Basel playing a vital role. During the course of the 1550s and 1560s, actors of the Polish-Lithuanian Reformation came into contact with concepts that were expounded—both officially and clandestinely—in these Swiss cities. Broadly viewed, the Reformation in Poland-Lithuania is best understood as the result of European networking processes.

Affiliations: 1: Leibniz Institute of European History


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