Title: Coping with Religious Diversity in Everyday Life in the Borderlands of Western Europe: Catholics, Protestants and Jews in Vaals


Richter, Thomas

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Article : original article


Acta Poloniae Historica T. 116 (2017) ; The Wealth of Diversity Inter-religious and Inter-confessional Contacts in Central and East-Central Europe in the Early Modern Era


Hyatt, Francesca. Ed. ; Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences ; Polish National Historical Committee


Instytut Historii Polskiej Akademii Nauk

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p. 149-169 ; 23 cm


After the re-Catholization of the Free Imperial City of Aachen (1611–16), Protestant congregations were forced to operate underground until the Reformed Church – openly supported by the Dutch States General – found a new place of refuge in the neighbouring Dutch village of Vaals. Ca. 1680, Vaals developed into a multiconfessional site of religious freedom where Roman Catholics, Germanand Frenchspeaking Reformed, Lutherans, and Mennonites lived peacefully side by side. With the exception of everyday controversies in the early decades, the preachers of different Protestant congregations worked together. Violence on religious grounds was not part of daily life in Vaals, although it did at times intrude from the outside. Examples of this were the violent attacks on Protestant churchgoers in the middle of the eighteenth century, which were carried out by lower-class Catholics from Aachen. The Catholic clergy, on the other hand, did not engage in hate sermons. Moreover, the presence of Jews did not cause problems in Vaals and the only documented action against Jewish property was not motivated by anti-Judaism. For the Protestants of this distinctly Catholic area, Vaals became an important place of refuge for the public exercise of their faith. The diverse congregations that worshipped in Vaals knew how to cope with each other’s presence in a peaceful manner during everyday life.


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Acta Poloniae Historica



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oai:rcin.org.pl:68568 ; oai:rcin.org.pl:68568 ; 0001-6829 ; 10.12775/APH.2017.116.06


IH PAN, sygn. A.295/116 Podr. ; IH PAN, sygn. A.296/116 ; click here to follow the link




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