munster history

“The Prologue to our Tragedy”: The Münster Rising and Perceptions of Religious Dissenters in Restoration England with Dr Andrew Crome (Manchester Metropolitan University)

4:00pm - 5:30pm / Wednesday 17th March 2021
Type: Seminar / Category: Research / Series: Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
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In early modern Europe, there was much anxiety about the prospect for disruptive uprisings that lay in the religious enthusiasms and millenarianism of the period. The Anabaptist rising in Münster (1534-5) in particular etched itself into the memory of contemporaries as an archetypal example of the dangers posed by energetic radicals. Yet the nature and meaning of the rising transformed in different local and religious contexts. This paper examines the way in which the Münster rising was invoked in England after 1660 as a way of recalling the chaos and disorder of the Civil Wars and Commonwealth period. The horrors of Münster became synonymous with the perils of enthusiasm and a justification for excluding dissenters from national life. This allowed a merging of historical memory that transposed events in sixteenth-century Germany directly onto contemporary England.