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Religious Peace Treaties in Europe as Legal Orders of Confessional Diversity in a Comparative Perspective

Overcoming those conflicts that had arisen from the denominational pluralisation of Europe since the Reformation represented a peculiar challenge for peacekeeping and peace building between 1500 and 1800. Important for this resolution of conflicts were the various decrees, edicts, capitulations and treaties by which secular, i.e. non-religious powers legally regulated the coexistence of different Christian belief systems since the 16th century. In historical scholarship, the term "religious peace" is now established to describe this historically new phenomenon. The project investigates these religious peace  agreements in a comparative and European-wide perspective: The focus is on how particular religious peace agreements or their regulations were used as models in others. Such "demonstration effects" include on the one hand customizations and adjustments to the respective political, confessional and social context of the recipient. On the other hand, they draw attention to the fact that the legal concepts were interconnected. Thus it becomes apparent that the development of religious peace until the end of the 18th century is to be understood as a pan-European, process of the – again and again controversial – concession of "state"-guarantees for tolerance and religious freedom. The project is carried out in cooperation with the DFG-project "Religious Preservation of Peace and Peace-making in Europe (1500–1800) – Digital Edition of Early Modern religious Peace Treaties". In 2018, work on the project has started with early conceptual approaches and exemplary studies.