153 Probably it is the observation of these details – language skills, translation culture, lack of theological terminology, mother tongue-based and region-based interconfessional organisations – which will lead to the answer to the most important and to this day basically unsolved question of the history of the Reformation in Hungary. That is: why did the vast majority of the ethnically Hungarian population in the sixteenth century become followers of the Helvetic Confessions, unlike other ethnic groups in Hungary? For now, my attempted answer is this: Hungarians, in their relative linguistic isolation, went their own way. They were, of course, in?luenced by the Swiss and Southern German examples, and the medieval and humanistic heritage is also demonstrable to some extent.55 The route of the triumphal procession of the Helvetic theology (from the occupied territories to the Transtibiscan region, then from there to Transylvania, and ?inally to Western Transdanubia and Upper Hungary) makes it obvious that the Turkish invasion and the border castle battles also had a role in this story,56 maybe even the increase in the economic signi?icance of market towns, since Bernd Moeller also demonstrated similar parallels between processes in social history and in the history of ideas during the German Reformation.57 Addit ionally, the independent development of original theological thinking in the Hungarian-language Reformation and unique materials in the texts of Calvinist creeds in Hungary are evident.58 The leaven of this theological fermentation was – as has long been known to historical research – the Hungarian student association of Wittenberg. Taking a close look at the list of members of the Hungarian student bursa of Wittenberg, it is apparent that unlike the university nations, it was not organised on a regional basis, but based on mother tongue: there were very few non-Hungarian surnames among them, and these came from regions with a linguistically heterogeneous population.59 Although the Hungarian bursa kept its records in Latin, its members generally interacted with each other in Hungarian, thus excluding their compatriots with differing mother tongues. This language-based, at ?irst theological, later denominational differentiation led to obvious ethnic mistrust and con?lict by the end of the sixteenth century. Research shows that in these theological debates, ethnic prejudices also played an important role accelerating the process of denominationalisation along the borders between different mother tongues. It is known that denominational identity was not created by creeds, but theologically indifferent elements, such as the 55 Bernhard: Konsolidierung. 56 Szakály: ’Türkenherrschaft’; Fodor: ’The Ottomans’; Őze: Reformation und Grenzgebiete; Spannenberger: ’Konfessionsbildung’. 57 Moeller: Reichsstadt und Reformation. 58 E.g. BSRefK 2/2, 1-165 (Nr. 58). 59 Szabó Géza: Geschichte des ungarischen Coetus.
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