REFORMATION IN HUNGARY HISTORIOGRAPHY, RESEARCH PROBLEMS, METHODOLOGY  ZOLTÁN CSEPREGI INTRODUCTION: FROM PATRONS TO COMMUNITY In 1526 the Ottomans defeated the Hungarian army near Mohács, causing the collapse of the medieval kingdom of Hungary. King Louis II also died in the battle, resulting in a 15 year-long ?ight for the throne. Ferdinand (Habsburg) I and John (Szapolyai) I were both elected by the estates of the realm and legally crowned, and the Ottoman Empire sporadically interfered in the battle between the two kings. In 1541 the Turkish invaded Buda, the capital of the country, leading to the permanent split of Hungary into three parts, which lasted for centuries. The southern and middle territories were occupied by the Ottomans (Ottoman Hungary), while King Ferdinand's reign was consolidated in the northern and western parts (Kingdom of Hungary), and in the East the kingdom of John I became the Principality of Transylvania. A border castle system was created on the borders of the territories occupied by the Ottomans, where there was continuous battling even in peaceful times. These three parts of the country also followed different paths in the Reformation. During the Turkish occupation the traditional church system almost completely ceased to exist. The new teachings could be spread freely, thus in this area the followers of the Helvetic tradition dominated (the Reformed, Calvinist denomination was later also called "Hungarian religion"). In the Kingdom of Hungary the Lutheran Reformation prevailed at ?irst, then in the seventeenth century the Habsburgs reinstated the Roman Catholic majority with systematic re-Catholicisation. In Transylvania, the princes mostly followed tolerant religious policies, as a result of which, besides the other denominations, even the antitrinitarian (Unitarian) branch of the Reformation became strong. Uniquely in Europe, it was able to organise a folk church and receive legal recognition. Reformation research in Hungary does not tend to engage in theoretical and methodological debate. Of the monograph series entitled Humanizmus és Reformáció [Humanism and Reformation]1 launched in 1973, only one volume contains extensive theoretical and methodological guidelines, namely the study of Ferenc Szakály (1942-1999), whose work therefore this study will deal with. Typically, Szakály was the ?irst scholar to elaborate in detail on the ‘market town theo1 Csepregi: ’Lutherstatue’, 200-1.