171 ?irst step in Oestreich’s process of social disciplining.43 In a symbiotic relationship, the confessional churches drew on the resources of the government to implement their religious standardization, which in turn provided a crucial foundation of political centralization and state-building. Regardless of their doctrinal intent, Catholic restoration as well as Lutheran and Calvinist confession-building also functioned as important agents of modernization. As the concepts of Counterreformation and Catholic reform before, the paradigm of confessionalization also encountered criticism. Next to objections to its periodization and its implicit leveling of confessional differences, there were several challenges to its fundamental approach.44 Winfried Schulze doubted the preeminence of confessional cultures and emphasized the rise of religious tolerance and coexistence, which prepared the way for the subsequent secularization of society.45 Other scholars pointed to the success of state-building in multidenominational and religiously tolerant polities such as the Netherlands, thereby questioning the linkage of confession- and state-building, and to the feasibility of confessionalization from below.46 In general, the most severe criticism of confessionalization as an explanatory concept was directed at the central role it seemed to assign to the state. Based on his research on church discipline in the Reformed Swiss canton of Berne, Heinrich Richard Schmidt ascribed the success of social control not so much to governmental institutions, but to local communities.47 Schmidt saw the fatal ?law of the paradigm in the superimposition of Oestreich’s model of social-disciplining, speci?ically developed for matters of politics, onto Zeeden’s focus on ecclesial bodies. Rather than introducing a broader social history approach to the study of early modern religious cultures, the concept of confessionalization had therefore reintroduced a state-centered history from above. Both Wolfgang Reinhard and Heinz Schilling emphatically rejected this assessment, however. In response to Schmidt, Reinhard described a one-dimensional opposition of government and populace as theoretically unproductive and cited the Swedish Reformation as an example for the symbiosis of communal and governmental confessionalization. Rather than juxtaposing micro- and macrohistorical approaches, researchers ought to combine them.48 43 Reinhard: ‘Zwang zur Konfessionalisierung?’, 268. For the application of the concept of social discipline in the study of early modern confessional conditions, see also Hsia: Social Discipline, and Winkelbauer: ‘Sozialdisziplinierung’, 317-339. 44 See, for example, Klueting: Das Konfessionelle Zeitalter, which already displayed its divergent periodization in the title, and Schindling: ‘Konfessionaliserung und die Grenzen’, 9-44. 45 See Schulze: ‘Konfessionalisierung als Paradigma’, 15-30. 46 See, for example: Mörke: ‘Konfessionalisierung’, 31-60, and, with a somewhat different focus on parallel state-sponsored and popular confessionalizations, Lotz-Heumann: Die doppelte Konfessionalisierung. 47 Schmidt: Dorf und Religion. 48 See his comments in Völker-Rasor (ed.): Oldenburg Geschichte, 302f.
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