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Converting Bohemia
Force and Persuasion in the Catholic Reformation

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Part of New Studies in European History

  • Date Published: March 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521889292

$ 139.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Prior to the Thirty Years War, almost all of Bohemia's population lay outside the Catholic fold, yet by the beginning of the eighteenth century the kingdom was clearly under Rome's influence. Few regions in Europe's history have ever experienced such a complete religious transformation; because of this, Bohemia offers a unique window for examining the Counter-Reformation and the nature of early modern Catholicism. Converting Bohemia presents a full assessment of the Catholic Church's re-establishment in the Czech lands, arguing that this complex phenomenon was less a product of violence and force than of negotiation and persuasion. Ranging from art, architecture and literature to music, philosophy and hagiography, Howard Louthan's study reintegrates the region into the broader European world where it played such a prominent role in the early modern period. It will be of particular interest to scholars of early modern European history, religion, and Reformation studies.

    • Provides the first significant study of Bohemia's dramatic confessional transformation from 1620 to the mid-eighteenth century
    • Considers the revival of pilgrimage, the growth of a Catholic printing industry, the development of new religious art forms, and the emergence of new Bohemian saints
    • Essential reading for scholars of Reformation Europe and early modern Catholicism
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    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This well-researched, beautifully written, and flawlessly argued book greatly enhances understanding of 17th-century Bohemia's conversion from a hotbed of religious unrest to a bastion of Catholicism. Essential." -Choice

    "...this volume makes an impressive and powerful contribution to both confessional history in Reformation and post-Reformation Europe and to Czech history. Both fields will not be studied and written about in the same way as a result of this book." -Renaissance Quarterly, Paul W. Knoll

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521889292
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: a tale of two windows: framing the history of early modern Bohemia
    1. Severed heads and holy bones: authority and culture in post-White Mountain Bohemia
    2. Reshaping identity and reforming the kingdom: confessional change and the nobility
    3. 'Monarchs of Knowledge': mastering dissent in post-White Mountain Bohemia
    4. Finding a holy past: antiquarianism and Catholic revival
    5. Reshaping the landscape: art and confessional identity
    6. Formation of the faithful: Catholicism in the countryside
    7. Sermons, songs and scripture: reforming believers by the word
    8. Pilgrimage and popular piety
    9. Making Bohemia holy: Christian saints and Jewish martyrs
    Conclusion: between force and persuasion.

  • Author

    Howard Louthan, University of Florida


    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009
    • Winner of the 2011 Czechoslovak Studies Association Book Prize

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