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Reformation and the German Territorial State: Upper Franconia, 1300-1630 (Changing Perspectives on Early Modern Europe) Hardcover – June 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


Provide(s) an important new perspective on the processes of state-building and confessionalisation in the German lands between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEWBR> Reformation and the German Territorial State is an impressive volume. . . . Smith's renderings of numerous archival cases are keenly attuned to actual indindividuals, vivid ommunities, and shifting institutions, which he presents with clarity, precision, and winsome detail. RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY Smith skillfully combines a variety of archival, primary, and secondary sources. . . . His analysis is of broader temporal scope than most of the scarce work on Upper Franconia in English; the results, though occasionally counterintuitive, will be of strong comparative value. The book's mature, sophisticated narrative reveals the author's eye for the telling detail. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. CHOICE Ambitiously conceived and meticulously researched, this book sets out to examine the "twin processes" of religious reform and territorial formation. What distinguishes this work is its dual perspective and its nuanced approach to the complexity of change and the thoughts behind the process. . . . As the book illustrates, the reform of religion could act as a buttress to the making of the territory, but it could threaten its stability as well. Few recent works on German Reformation have captured this sense of contingency as skillfully as Reformation and the German Territorial State. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY Reformation and the German Territorial State is thoughtfully written, impressively researched, provocative and engaging. Smith convincingly argues that while the concept of confessionalization may work as a grand narrative, it all but collapses when examined on the social-historical level. . . . This is a must-read for those interested in the intersection of religion, politics, and state-building in the early modern era. --David M. Whitford, United Theological Seminary A sophisticated contribution to the scholarship on confessionalization in the Holy Roman Empire. . . . Smith carefully reconstructs and compares Lutheran and Catholic confessionalization in the same region, keenly aware of the ways in which religion moved politics within a complex institutional framework. --Brad Gregory, University of Notre Dame

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William Bradford Smith is professor of history at Oglethorpe University.

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