Synopses & Reviews
In the context of continuing debates over Protestantism, capitalism and the absolutist state, this book presents a fresh historical and theoretical analysis of religion and politics in early modern Europe. The author undertakes a systematic comparative-historical analysis of the very different contributions made by the Puritan and Pietist movements to the success or failure of absolutist rule in England, Württemberg and Prussia. While Puritans and Pietists shared similar religious ideas, aspirations and ethos, they developed quite different political attitudes and alliances in each case. English Puritans made a crucial contribution to the overthrow of attempted absolutism, as the English Revolution helped ensure the further development of parliamentary rule. Pietists in Württemberg shared the anti-absolutist attitudes of the English Puritans, yet tended to remain politically passive in the constitutional struggles against absolutism. And in complete contrast, Pietists in Prussia made a vital positive contribution to the successful establishment of the militaristic, bureaucratic Prussian absolutist state.
This book presents a fresh historical and theoretical analysis of religion and politics in early modern Europe.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Introduction: cases and controversies; 2. In pursuit of further reformation; 3. State and society: the attempts at absolutism; 4. The established church and toleration; 5. From reform to revolution: Puritanism in England; 6. From reform to retreat: Pietism in Württemberg; 7. From reform to state religion: Pietism in Prussia; 8. Conclusions and implications; Bibliography; Index.