Konfesszionalizáció: felekezetiség és politikum a kora újkorban
Mihály Balázs: Questions of Application. The German Model of Confessionalisation and the Transylvanian Reformation
The first part of the paper builds extensively on recent historiographical treatments of the question. It begins with reviewing the emergence of the terms “Konfessionalisierung” and “Konfessionsbildung” in German scholarship, which is followed by an overview of the most important debates and opinions. More details are offered about the research on the attempts at renewal and internal opposition within specific confessions. The second part of the paper recalls reflections from the recent decades on the challenges of applying these terms on the Hungarian and Transylvanian setting. The paper follows up and extends these results, and emphasises that linguistic borders in multi-national Transylvania failed to mirror confessional borders. The concluding part demonstrates that more recent research results, which put more emphasis on the differences between different confessional cultures, could be used in the development of the framework for the new synthesis of Hungarian literary history.
Gábor Kármán: A Theology Student Meets Confessional Plurality: Conrad Jacob Hiltebrandt in Transylvania, 1656–1658
Conrad Jacob Hiltebrandt, a Pomeranian student of Lutheran theology travelled through the Principality of Transylvania three times between 1656 and 1658 in connection to various Swedish diplomatic missions to Eastern and Southeastern Europe. His travelogue – which had been reworked by the author himself several times after his arrival to his home region, with the inclusion of many pieces of information from the contemporary Staatsbeschreibung literature – offers an interesting insight into how a 17th-century traveler, with special interest in theology, seen this multiconfessional region. The work indeed offers a variety of interesting information concerning the individual confessional groups, and even accounts of discussions on theological questions with Isaac Basire, the professor of the Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia) college, as well as of the latter’s fight against the Transylvanian Presbyterian movement. Nevertheless, the interconfessional tensions – which in spite of the general acceptance of the system of four accepted churches, and the tolerated status of Orthodoxy, had been present in the principality – did not feature on the pages of the young theology student’s travelogue. Even if the historians of today are justified to discover such traces that point towards an initiative for the Calvinist confessionalisation of the Transylvanian state in the 17th century, these did not reach the point that a contemporary coming from a confessionalised region would have noticed. The most striking feature of the Transylvanian society for Hiltebrandt remained its multiconfessional character, and the Pomeranian theology student seen it – contrary to today’s expectations – with a certain benevolent irony, not as a desirable state.
Béla Vilmos Mihalik: The Rise and Fall of a Parish Priest in Kisszeben: The Conflicts Between Church, State and Local Community in late 17th-Century Upper Hungary
One of the most important points of critique against the theory of confessionalisation is that it overemphasizes the role of the state, overestimates the power of the intentions coming from above, and at the same time disregards the interests and resistance capacities of the local communities. This is why Heinz Schilling suggested the application of a “pincers model”, which would analyze how the intentions from below and above cancel out, modify or strengthen each other. I applied this model in a local survey, in which I aimed to show how interactions took place in the triangle between the local society, the representatives of the Catholic church and those of the government. During the 1670s, the so-called “Protestant decade of mourning”, the assumed co-operation between the ecclesiastical, governmental and military spheres was by far not without problems. In December 1675, disregarding the preferences of the local Catholic community in the town of Kisszeben (Sabinov, Slovakia) György Jelencsics, a client of the bishop of Eger was installed as parish priest. The town found an ally in the regional representative of the government, the Szepes Chambers. In the tense situation to follow, Bishop György Bársony placed the town under ecclesiastical interdiction and also threatened the Chambers. The waves raised by this local issue reached as far as to Vienna and Rome. Finally, the Chambers and the bishop reached a compromise and they installed Jelencsics together at the parish in the end of 1676, practically leaving aside the interests of the local Catholic community. Fifteen years later, in 1691, the Catholic community of Kisszeben staged a small scale revolt against the parish priest. He was accused in front of each possible forum because of his affairs with women, financial abuses, and the neglect of his pastoral duties. The case shows that the community internalized the patterns and ways through which he could promote its own interests. Bringing about Jelencsics’s fall the burghers made a skillful use of the procedural practice at the Chambers, as well as the available ecclesiastical fora. At the same time the sources show that they must have been familiar with the fundamental questions of faith and various theological perspectives, which helped them to represent their interests in front of these higher fora.
Dániel Siptár: The Religious Orders and the “Second Confessionalisation” in Baranya County after the Expulsion of the Ottomans
On the conceptual basis of the confessionalisation paradigm of Wolfgang Reinhard and Schilling, the term “second confessionalisation” can be applied for the process of denominational changes in specific local societies due to the newly drawn political borders. The different elements of this process can be placed on various scales between individual denominations, as well as the “spiritual” and “physical” components of power. This study attempts to define such measures on an example in specific time and space: the integration of Baranya county in the Christian state under Habsburg rulership, starting at the end of the 17th century. My goal was not a comprehensive overview of the data related to the history of Catholicism in the county after the expulsion of the Ottomans, but rather to create an interpretative framework which could be applied for the rather complex phenomenon of the second period of the confessionalisation process, that in Hungary lasted till the end of the 18th century, thus quite late in contrast to Western Europe. As a result, four distinct sources, methods and creative powers could be specified (apart from some provisional and auxiliary forms): 1, a fully “physical” method, depending heavily on secular power (that is, new population on account of settlement policies); 2, conversion of people from other denominations and the Catholic education of new generations; 3, the conversion-in-theological- sense of those communities, which are Catholics in the administrative sense, but should actually be regarded as subconfessional; and 4, the further end of the scale, the mostly “spiritual” method, influenced mainly by the local religious orders.
András Forgó: On the Specificities of Late Confessionalisation in Hungary
In this study I attempt to present some characteristics of late confessionalisation in the Kingdom of Hungary on the basis of various examples, which allow us an insight to the tumultuous local manifestations of the Catholic–Protestant relationship. The term “late confessionalisation”, created in the German-speaking scholarship, can be well applied for the Hungarian circumstances – obviously, taking the local specificities into account. The study on the one hand attempts to define the time frames of late confessionalisation in Hungary; on the other to show how the intention of the central power to create a new system of norms overwrote the interests of local landholders. For the Protestants in most territories of the country it meant only to allow the so-called private exercise of faith, which on the one hand drastically limited the freedom of consciousness of the people involved, but in contrast to other countries of the Habsburgs it made possible for the Protestant communities to legally preserve their confessional identities.
István Kádas: The Society of the Noble Judges in Abaúj County During the Reign of King Sigismund
In my present paper I examined the social group of the noble judges (iudices nobilium, szolgabírók) in Abaúj (Abov-Turňa) county in the age of King Sigismund (1387–1437). In the charters I found 36 noble judges and other emissaries of the county. These persons stemmed from about twenty noble families. My research was based upon the reconstruction of the families and the social contacts of the noble judges. I used the method of genealogy, archontology and prosopography. With them I managed to determine the social status and the local prestige of these noble families. The most important characteristics of the social group of the noble judges can be summarized as follows. In respect to their property most families of the iudices nobilium belonged to the lesser nobility, but there were also wealthier nobles among them. Furthermore, their social contacts with the well-to-do noblemen, as well as their inter-comital family relations show that they enjoyed a more extended social prestige. These persons or members of their families could be retainers for the barons, and they could also be castellans or officiales. This social background could play a part in their election to the judge’s position, which also promoted their later carriers. In most cases the iudices nobilium of Abaúj county in the first half of 15th century were not poor curialis nobles, and the office of the “szolgabíró” enjoyed at least a moderate prestige.
Benedek Láng: Love, Alcohol, and Shame: Private Enciphering in Early Modern Hungary
A quantitative analysis of 16th–17th-century Hungarian ciphers reveals that besides the dominance of diplomatic use of cryptography, there is a presence of “private” applications as well. The social and political background, the intentions, the cryptographic skill and choice of tools of those people who used cryptographic methods in these centuries show a much more significant variation in the private sphere than the political-diplomatic-military practice alone would indicate. The article attempts to reconstruct the main reasons and goals why historical actors chose to use ciphers in a diary or private letter, when no political or military reason was present. Only a close analysis of the practices of secrecy may shed light on the question. Just as the users were not all politicians, the purpose of ciphering was not necessarily political either: private life, love affairs, intimate relationships, excessive drinking, fear, family feuds, moral sins were all topics that cried for enciphering. As the first author on secrecy, Georg Simmel pointed out, shame is often the main motivating factor behind secrecy, and this is indeed a major explication for several ciphers in the diaries under study. A close examination of the relation of enciphered and unenciphered texts provides a deeper understanding of the concept of secret of the people in the past. Levels of secrecy and privacy can be identified: hardly anything was ever completely encrypted, most encrypted sources also made some sense to the reader without a clavis, and only a more concrete understanding required more elaborate tools of decrypting. As the level of decoding was gradual, so was access to the secret: one community had more direct access to a particular letter, codex, diary or message than the other.
György Granasztói: The Territory of the Early Modern Town as a Collective Act
In recent years the historians’ interest towards the problems of spatiality arose and changed in contrast to the earlier period, especially in urban history. Our earlier studies have shown that the medieval walls of Nagyszombat (Trnava, Slovakia) provided a stage for a peculiar social practice between the 16th and 18th centuries. This can be said about any kind of social use of space, but Nagyszombat has an extraordinary set of sources that made it possible to apply statistical and cartographic methods in not less than five time frames. Based on the results of such investigations we can point out that the analysis of these fields are necessary for the understanding of social processes, because of their mutual influence on each other. The walkthrough order of the urban tax registers and the data that can thus be localised express this mutual influence in an extraordinarily intensive manner. The narration and rhetorics of the existence of the urban community is expressed through the route of the tax-collectors as a process going on at the town’s territory. This is a manifestation of a power technique that collects the data in an archaic way. Later on the same thing was done in another way, in a scientific, methodical manner. Spatiality was then expressed not through maps, but rather through the reference points used during the route. Thus, the map that mirrors the premodern situation is in this respect anachronistic. With our current methods however we are not able to reconstruct how the burghers seen their own space in the period when the source itself was produced.