Cultural Diffusion and Religious Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Transylvania: How the Jesuits Dealt with the Orthodox and Catholic Ideas

Author: Pop, Ioan-Aurel
An extraordinarily valuable study by the doyen of Transylvanian history. Political and religious changes, fueled by the Reformation, assaulted the status-quo in European nations during the 16th Century, yet the tiny Principality of Transylvania, ruled by three separate ‘nation-estates’, ascribing simultaneously to seven separate religious allegiances, managed to embrace their ethnic and religious diversity without engaging in the ferocious religious wars plaguing Europe at that time.


“The region [Transylvania] became one of the most confused in the whole of Europe in terms of its people’s ethnic origins and religious allegiances, and Dr. Pop has spent much of his career elucidating the political, socio-economic and cultural ramifications of that confusion…Pop concludes, ‘the troubled events of those years have left us with a model of cohabitation based on both cooperation and rivalry that truly deserves consideration.”
-Dr. Norman Housley,
University of Leicester,
School of Historical Studies

“The image of Transylvania as a place of a continuous dynamics of acceptance and exclusion is one of the important contributions of Ioan-Aurel Pop,…[he] has successfully reconstructed the atmosphere of an important century in Transylvanian history.”
-Dr. Sandu Frunz?,
Babes-Bolyai University

"... has taken a conspicuously even-handed and judicious approach to the complex and interwoven relationships among various populations in the region. In this slender volume, he seeks first to inform teh non-specialist about the environment of late medieval and Renaissance Transylvania into which teh turmoil of the Protestant Reformation exploded in the sixteenth century. ... This volume provides a lucid and fair-minded introduction to a time and place that has long deserved such treatment." -Prof. Paul Shore, University of Regina

"... be grateful to him for bringing to scholarly attention so much challenging new information on the 'miniature Euorpe' of medieval and early modern Translyvania." -Prof. Martyn Rady, UCL SSEES

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Meaning of a Place Name

1. An Outline of Transylvanian History
1.1 Origin, name and inhabitants
1.2 Transylvania as a voivodate within the Kingdom of Hungry (until 1541)
1.3 The autonomous principality (1541-1688)
1.4 Transylvania under the Habsburgs (1688-1918)
2. The Political and Religious Situation of Transylvania in the 16th Century
2.1 Medieval ethnic groups and Estates, or the land of diversity
2.2 Universitas trium nationum or the transformation of the Estates into political-ethnic nations
2.3 Scandala in ecclesia Dei: The causes behind the religious Reformation
2.4 The emergence and rise of protestant denominations in Transylvania
2.5 The acceptance of the Reformation and the system of “tolerance: - between universalism and nationhood
2.6 Inter hos sunt disperse per totam provinciam Valachi: The situation of the Romanians
2.7 The country of four (five) “religions,” or the diversity of spiritual models in Transylvania
2.8 The rule of Prince Stephen Báthory III (later king of Poland)
3. The Image of the Other: The Ethnic and Confessional Models of 16th Century Transylvania Seen from Abroad
4. The Perception of One’s Origin and Ethnic Identity
5. Leading Personalities Having a Double, Triple or Multiple Ethnic and Confessional Identity
6. Transylvanian Cultural Models in the Century of the Protestant Reformation
7. New Cultural Landmarks Within the Carpathian Borders
8. The Humanist and Religious Education of the Germans and of the Hungarians
9. Culture and Education with the Romanians – between the Byzantine, latin and Protestant Horizons
10. The Jesuit Missions and the Higher Education Initiatives meant to Counteract the Reformation and Influence the orthodox Believers
10.1 The Jesuit school model
10.2 Plans for college in Cluj
10.3 Jesuit education at Alba Iulia and Oradea
10.4 The creation of the Jesuit College of Cluj
10.5 The activity of the Cluj college and seminary
10.6 Antonio Possevino on Transylvania
10.7 Professors and students, together through thick and thin
10.8 The library
10.9 Theatrical performances
10.10 Theological disputes (“disputations”)
10.11 The expulsion of the Jesuits
10.12 The new Jesuit episode in Transylvania (1595-1603)
10.13 Conclusion
10.14 Bibliography
10.15 Index