Making Catholicism Cosmopolitan: Italy and the Transformation of Early Modern Central Europe


ACLS Fellowship Program




In the early sixteenth century, Catholicism was in full retreat across Central Europe. It seemed quite possible that the Reformations launched by Luther and his allies would permanently clear the region of Catholic influence. The old church, however, made a remarkable comeback. Catholicism was dramatically transformed from a faith perceived in many corners as a parochial vestige of an outdated society into a dynamic and cosmopolitan confessional culture that stretched across the wide expanse of Central Europe. Though there were many factors that contributed to this region’s Catholic revival, Italian influence was critical for its ultimate success and the creation of a dynamic new culture north of the Alps.