Early Modern vs. Modern Definitions of Religion

Posted: June 15, 2010 by Scott Kistler in Christ & Culture, History
Tags: ,

Leithart passes on Mack Holt’s observation that the French wars of religion make sense not as conflicts over beliefs but as conflicts over what kind of society they would have:

Religion at that time should be seen as “a body of believers rather than the more modern definition of a body of beliefs.”  Thus, to talk about religious wars it simultaneously to talk about society: “In these terms, Protestants and Catholics alike in the sixteenth century each viewed the other as pollutants of their own particular notion of the body social, as threats to their own conception of ordered society.”


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