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Open Access To Fight, or Not to Fight: Piotr Skarga, the Catholic Ideal of Christian Soldier, and the Reformation of Polish Nobility (around 1600)

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To Fight, or Not to Fight: Piotr Skarga, the Catholic Ideal of Christian Soldier, and the Reformation of Polish Nobility (around 1600)

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Piotr Skarga was the leading Jesuit in Poland–Lithuania around 1600. In 1606, he published a catechism for soldiers: Żołnierskie nabożeństwo (The soldier’s piety), a book which is commonly said to have been inspired by a catechism by another Jesuit, Antonio Possevino’s Il soldato christiano (1569). The aim of this article is to compare the two books and to address the following questions: to what extent and in what way was Possevino’s view of soldiers adaptable to Polish-Lithuanian realities? Can we identify a common discourse on soldiers and war in both texts, although they were not written at the same time nor in the same cultural and social context? Or did the strategy of accommodation lead to major differences between the texts, making it difficult to speak of a common Jesuit view on soldiers and war?

Affiliations: 1: Martin Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, damien.tricoire@geschichte.uni-halle.de

Piotr Skarga was the leading Jesuit in Poland–Lithuania around 1600. In 1606, he published a catechism for soldiers: Żołnierskie nabożeństwo (The soldier’s piety), a book which is commonly said to have been inspired by a catechism by another Jesuit, Antonio Possevino’s Il soldato christiano (1569). The aim of this article is to compare the two books and to address the following questions: to what extent and in what way was Possevino’s view of soldiers adaptable to Polish-Lithuanian realities? Can we identify a common discourse on soldiers and war in both texts, although they were not written at the same time nor in the same cultural and social context? Or did the strategy of accommodation lead to major differences between the texts, making it difficult to speak of a common Jesuit view on soldiers and war?

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2017-08-08
2018-07-18

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