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Bernhard Pez: An Austrian Benedictine Scholar between Sacred Antiquarianism and New Practices of Scholarship

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The article addresses the question of how to situate a Benedictine scholar of the early eighteenth century in relation to recent research on the intersecting goals of historical-critical scholarship and the search for confessional identities. The Benedictine Bernhard Pez (1683–1735) was among the first scholars in Austria to engage in the systematic collection and critical publication of medieval source texts. He has been long regarded as a pioneer of the historical-critical method though, like many contemporaries, he used it mainly for apologetic purposes, especially in favour of the Benedictine Order. What is interesting about Pez are his attempts to evade the institutional limitations in theology by highlighting the historical nature of church history and to search for Protestant allies in an anti-Roman struggle for a historical view of the antiquities of the ‘German’ church.

Affiliations: 1: Austrian Institute of Historical Research, University of Vienna, Universitätsring 1, 1010 Vienna, Austria,;


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