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Early Modern Purgatory: Reformation Debates and Post-Tridentine Change

Early Modern Purgatory: Reformation Debates and Post-Tridentine Change By Tomás Malý The doctrine of purgatory, theologically constructed in the twelfth century and expanded to a wider awareness and religious practice in the fifteenth, gained a new dimension in the early modern age. The rejection of purgatory by the representatives of the European Reformation provoked intense discussions and consequently also a growth in polemical literature on both sides of the confessional divide. In the second half of the sixteenth century the Catholic church also reacted to this with its own reform, which resulted not only in a consolidation of its teachings on purgatory, but also a proliferation of resources to support these teachings. As purgatory became a confessionally defined topic, it also became a part of Catholic and Protestant identities. For example, Catholic converts in seventeenth-century Italy identified Catholicism with ritual (the Mass) and with faith in purgatory and the sacraments, 1 in which they differed little from the Bohemian and Moravian secret Protestants of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 2 In the text which follows I try to show the nature of the Reformation debates on purgatory and how they developed after the mid-sixteenth century. I argue that their content and structure gradually changed as a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte - Archive for Reformation History de Gruyter

Early Modern Purgatory: Reformation Debates and Post-Tridentine Change

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by the
ISSN
2198-0489
eISSN
2198-0489
DOI
10.14315/arg-2015-0109
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

By Tomás Malý The doctrine of purgatory, theologically constructed in the twelfth century and expanded to a wider awareness and religious practice in the fifteenth, gained a new dimension in the early modern age. The rejection of purgatory by the representatives of the European Reformation provoked intense discussions and consequently also a growth in polemical literature on both sides of the confessional divide. In the second half of the sixteenth century the Catholic church also reacted to this with its own reform, which resulted not only in a consolidation of its teachings on purgatory, but also a proliferation of resources to support these teachings. As purgatory became a confessionally defined topic, it also became a part of Catholic and Protestant identities. For example, Catholic converts in seventeenth-century Italy identified Catholicism with ritual (the Mass) and with faith in purgatory and the sacraments, 1 in which they differed little from the Bohemian and Moravian secret Protestants of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 2 In the text which follows I try to show the nature of the Reformation debates on purgatory and how they developed after the mid-sixteenth century. I argue that their content and structure gradually changed as a

Journal

Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte - Archive for Reformation Historyde Gruyter

Published: Oct 1, 2015

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