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Religious Settlements and the Communication of Theological Experts

The project investigates the expert opinions of theologians submitted in written form in the context of early modern religious settlements. It focuses in particular on expert opinions offered by Lutheran theological faculties elaborating the formal legal frameworks established by the religious settlements. In this counsel (consilia), the academic elites of early modern Lutheranism advised the people responsible for establishing practical arrangements for denominational and religious coexistence. The Lutheran expert opinions thus offer historical insights into the specific problems faced by the administration of the church at the local level. The project aims to outline the role of theological elites as historical actors in local confessional politics. In this context, Lutheran academic theologians were, as my recent research indicates, primarily interested in the de-escalation of local religious conflicts. They nevertheless sought to establish a denominational and religious balance which favoured Lutheranism by shaping asymmetrical structures of religious practice. The first articles arising from my current research are about to be published.