Montag, 08. Mai 2017, 17:15 - 19:00 iCal

211. Institutsseminar, Phillip Haberkern

Discovering the First Reformation: How Early Modern Reformers Learned Hussite History

Hörsaal des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien

Seminar, Workshop, Kurs

There is no doubt that the figure of Jan Hus and the history of the movement that bore his name were ubiquitous in the polemical literature that proliferated during the first decades of the European reformations. Hus was invoked as either a proto-martyr of the reformations of the worst heresiarch seen in a millennium; and the Hussites came to serve as either a model for the successful construction of a reform movement or a testament to the political chaos that arose from the toleration of heresy. And while many scholars have written about the role that Hussite history played in the literature that emerged from the debates of religious reform in the sixteenth-century, this lecture will explore the means by which the knowledge of that history was disseminated. Focusing on both the textual transmission of fifteenth-century sources to sixteenth-century authors and the live exchanges between the leaders of the Czech dissident churches and their international counterparts, this paper will argue that early modern polemicists and scholars did not merely appropriate Hussite history for their own ends, but were subject to intensive negotiations over the meaning of that history with the living heirs of the Hussite movement. In order to demonstrate how the politics of reform in the sixteenth century could lead to unexpected intellectual alliances, this lecture will offer a case study of Johannes Fabri, Bishop of Vienna (1530–1541) and author of some of the most surprising and incisive scholarship on the Hussites from this time period. By examining the ends to which Fabri and his Utraquist informants and audience put their historical scholarship, a more nuanced picture emerges of how Hussite history was both learned and deployed in early modern religious polemics.


Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung


Stefanie Gruber
Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung