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Initially published in Central European History, Sep93, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p311-325.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1993

DOI: 10.1017/S0008938900009158


The political, institutional, and religious particularism of the German church reinforced the loyalty of the population, to local religious traditions. This gave German Catholicism a local emphasis and hindered the imposition of reformed Catholicism, which sought to homogenize, centralize, and internationalize the church. While early modern German Catholicism was certainly conservative, it was not rigidly traditional. Religious change occurred in these centuries and it came out of the interaction between the local population, local institutions like the chapters and monasteries, the parish clergy, and reforming churchmen.[70] The role of chapters and monasteries was not insignificant in this process.
Canons and monks, whose daily lives were taken up with religious practices that owed much more to medieval Christian traditions than to the reforms of the Council of Trent, undoubtedly sympathized with and participated in the religion of the people. In the context of the Holy Roman Empire, manyGerman church institutions fought to preserve their own particular privileges and traditions, which gave them little inclination to destroy the local religion of their subjects. Localism and particularism thus became a valued hallmark of German Catholicism, as much among the Catholic elite as among the people. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.