Kurland im Horizont der Reformation: Resonanz – Korrelation – Interaktion | Courland in the Light of the Reformation: Responses, Correlations and Interactions
Volume 35 (2017): The Reformation in the Southeast Baltic Region = Reformacija Baltijos jūros pietryčių regione, pp. 45–82
Pub. online: 15 December 2017 Type: Article Open Access
15 December 2017
15 December 2017
There was no ideal or typical way of establishing the Reformation in Europe, while Church reform in East Central Europe cannot be attributed solely to the influence of the ideas from Wittenberg. Much more important than looking for a causal relationship is to analyse the responses, correlations and interactions. This is done in the article by looking for an answer to the question why Protestantism established itself relatively late in the geographical area called Courland (Kurland, present-day Kurzeme), and more precisely how the creation of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia (1561–1562) was connected with the establishment of the Evangelical Church in this region. In looking for an answer, the article outlines the challenges faced by the Teutonic Order’s domains in Livonia during the Reformation in the first half of the 16th century. It explores the activities of Gotthard Kettler, the last Master of the Teutonic Order in Livonia (1559–1561), in the conversion to Protestantism, and the creation of the Duchy. Finally, the article discusses how ‘the princely Reformation’ that created new confessional and cultural realities in the northeast of Central Europe during the second half of the 16th century manifested itself in a specific region.