139 with it becoming the cradle of the Helvetic branch of the Reformation in Hungary. The description of these two different social environments by the opposite pair of “market town vs. real town” is obviously shallow and misleading. Based on ?ifty years of experience, it is clear that the “market town” framework has proved unsuitable for dealing with these issues. Some scholars see such tension between the complexities of the past and the restrictiveness of the theory that they completely avoid the “market town” approach.11 Others still hope to gain something from the improved, more subtle version of the “market town Reformation”. Antal Molnár has dedicated several volumes to the topic, but added a provocative title and a methodological introduction to only one of them, which is the Mezőváros és katolicizmus [Market town and Catholicism].12 Molnár tries to simultaneously save and extend the inherited framework of the market town Reformation research, and for this he ?inds help in the German Konfessionalisierung theory. While Szakály still categorised Szeged and Gyöngyös, Hungarian towns within the occupied region which remained Catholic, as exceptions, Molnár considers these towns cases of the same paradigm. He includes the formation of Catholic denomination in the problem of “market town and Reformation”. According to his working hypothesis: [...] the branch of religion, later organisation which best served the needs of the population won the competition for choosing a religion in each settlement, which could also be a market town. Hence the choice of denomination in each town depended solely on which of the possible religious branches provided a competitive supply at the time suitable for forming an institution.13 Considering the choice and formation of denominations as integral parts of the very same process, Molnár deduces the earlier sixteenth-century processes, which cannot be ascertained from the sources, from the phenomena of seventeenth-century institutionalisation. This method can be considered as extending the time frame. Following this logic, he assumes that if in a settlement in the occupied region there was a Franciscan abbey or an authentic Catholic priest, the spreading of the Reformation was not necessary. In fact, the religious and cultural life of the local Catholic society showed similar signs as the neighbouring Reformed communities. Since the region and the period examined are the same, I also consider Sándor Őze’s attempt to re-interpret the market town paradigm. Őze connects the 11 Erdélyi: A Cloister on Tr ial . 12 Molnár: Mezőváros és katolicizmus, 9-14. 13 Molnár: Mezőváros és katolicizmus, 13.
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