At the same time, the edict assumed a privileged place for Christianity; the church in Prussia was clearly to remain in the service of the state.

In the central German lands, many smaller principalities remained confes-sionally divided, both at the level of principality and city, especially in the northwest and the lower Rhineland. Two experiments in toleration that attained some notoriety emerged in the upper Rhineland and in Saxony. In the Wetterau, a group of Reformed principalities to the north and east of Frankfurt, religious dissenters were welcomed from 1712. Here, refugees for conscience sake were admitted, provided they were willing to pay a fee and promised to become hard-working and orderly citizens; the Wetterau provided some security for Protestants from the Cevennes region of France as well as for Pietists. On a smaller scale, Count von Zinzendorf, who had himself avidly studied the works of Pierre Bayle, founded a religious refuge on his estate of Herrnhut in Saxony. In the 1730s, Herrnhut attracted persons persecuted for their religious beliefs from neighbouring Bohemia and Moravia, but Zinzendorf's innovative inter-confessional vision made him anathema to the authorities, both Lutheran and Catholic, and when forbidden to return to Herrnhut, he experienced an unsettled, peripatetic existence until he left Europe for the New World.3 Beyond the Wetterau, Herrnhut, and Brandenburg-Prussia, the greatest promise of toleration and security for Protestant Dissenters (including Moravians and Pietists) lay in the Netherlands, England, and the New World.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment