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European Religious Peace Agreements - A Digital Edition (EuReD)

Long-term project at the Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz in cooperation with the Leibniz-Institute of European History Mainz and the University and State Library Darmstadt
Project leaders: Prof. Dr. Irene Dingel (IEG Mainz) and Prof. Dr. Thomas Stäcker (ULB Darmstadt)
One of the great challenges of Europe in the 21st century is to ensure the peaceful coexistence of religions. The constructive approach to religious and confessional plurality is a task that does not, however, only exist in the present. On the contrary, it has been part of Europe's history since its beginnings. The formation of religious peace agreements since the 16th century has set the agenda for all modern developments. They constitute an essential component for the constitution of the modern European state. At the same time, they allow deep insights into the handling of religious coexistence in early modern times as well as the development of the idea of tolerance and enable us to understand today's religious plurality and to deal with it appropriately.
Early modern religious peace agreements are juridical regulations of confessional coexistence, which were based on different forms of decree such as treaties, Reichstag approvals, edicts, mandates etc. They are found not only in the well-known armistice and religious peace treaties of the 16th century, such as the Nuremberg or Frankfurt Armistice (1532, 1539), the Augsburg Religious Peace (1555) or the Edict of Nantes (1598), but also in intergovernmental peace treaties, trade and alliance treaties or marriage contracts between confessional partners of the nobility. Religious peace agreements also guaranteed toleration - restricted differently from case to case - for those who would have been accused of heresy and persecuted under the current religious law. In this respect, they are central to the development of religious freedom and tolerance. They redefined the relationship between religion and politics in Europe, laid the foundation for modern religious law and pointed the way to the modern age. The long-term project EuReD will:
  • for the first time editorially bring together the European religious peace treaties of the period from 1485 (Kuttenberger Landtagsabschied) to 1791 (Constitution Française) and make them digitally available in Open Access;
  • comprehensively document the complex formation of the culture of religious peace in the »Communication Area of Europe« (»Kommunikationsraum Europa«) and to make it accessible by using digital tools.