By Benjamin J. Kaplan
As spiritual violence flares all over the world, we're faced with an acute predicament: Can humans coexist in peace while their easy ideals are irreconcilable? Benjamin Kaplan responds by means of taking us again to early sleek Europe, while the problem of spiritual toleration used to be no much less urgent than it's at the present time. Divided via religion starts off within the wake of the Protestant Reformation, whilst the solidarity of western Christendom was once shattered, and takes us on a wide ranging travel of Europe's spiritual landscape--and its deep fault lines--over the subsequent 3 centuries. Kaplan's grand canvas finds the styles of clash and toleration between Christians, Jews, and Muslims around the continent, from the British Isles to Poland. It lays naked the complicated realities of daily interactions and calls into query the acquired knowledge that toleration underwent an evolutionary upward push as Europe grew extra "enlightened." we're given vibrant examples of the improvised preparations that made peaceable coexistence attainable, and proven how universal people contributed to toleration as considerably as did intellectuals and rulers. Bloodshed used to be avoided now not through the excessive beliefs of tolerance and person rights upheld at the present time, yet by way of the pragmatism, charity, and social ties that endured to bind humans divided by way of religion. Divided through religion is either heritage from the ground up and a much-needed problem to our trust within the triumph of cause over religion. This compelling tale finds that toleration has taken many guises some time past and means that it might do an analogous sooner or later. (20071124)
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Extra info for Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe
In their initial optimism, he and his followers did not envisage the need to spread the Gospel by coercion. Persecution was, as yet, a tool only of Catholic authorities and could be rejected out of hand. Besides, coercion seemed to contradict the whole point of the early evangelical movement, which was to release people from religious oppression. ” By this slogan he meant that Christians did not need to buy indulgences, go on pilgrimages, fast, or perform other “works” to go to heaven. Salvation was a free gift of God’s grace, wholly unmerited by the receiver—and a good thing too, argued Luther, for sin was so deep-rooted A Holy Zeal 23 in human nature that no one could attain the goodness necessary to earn salvation.
Now the miracles the Virgin performed there, within eyeshot of the enemy, became proof that Catholicism was the true faith, supernaturally supported and destined to triumph. The miracles also demonstrated the divine favor enjoyed by the pious archdukes. Once merely a source of healing power, the shrine had become a symbol of militant Catholicism and a focus of patriotic sentiment. Pilgrims ﬂocked to it by the tens of thousands. The popularity of the site pleased church ofﬁcials but also made them wary.
These became common as early as the 1550s in French cities like Paris and Lyon, helping account for the outbreak of popular religious violence soon thereafter. In the German city of Augsburg, they did not reach the peak of their vogue until the turn of the eighteenth century. In general, though, controversy sermons saw their heyday in the early to mid-seventeenth century, when the volume of polemics on all sides was the loudest. Experts in theology, trained in disputation, clerics introduced this manner of preaching, and in many cases it is clear that through it they fueled or even instigated religious conﬂict.