The forgotten Reformations took place in Eastern Europe: Poland, Hungary and Czech-Slovkia (Bohemia) - though present day boundaries are different than in Reformation times.Though initially quite successful, these largely Calvinist reformations were overwhelmed by the Counter-Reformation and the Turkish invasions.
Towards Reformation in Romania Josef Tson, East-West Church & Ministry Report, 1 (Spring 1993)
The Hungarian Protestant Reformation in the Sixteenth Century Under the Ottoman Impact Alexander Sandor Unghvary Slovakia (1526 - 1740): The Turkish Menace and Confessional struggles
Hungarian Reformed Church in the United States and Canada
Links to History of Austrio-Hungary
Dialogue in debrecen By Barbara Chaapel
Since the Reformation brought Calvinism to Hungary and the Thirty-Years War (1618–1648) established Debrecen as a fortress of the Reformed faith, Hungary’s second largest city has been known as “The Hungarian Geneva.”
Calvinism gave Debrecen its first printing house, established in 1561 to publish works that buttressed Reformation theology. And in 1538, Protestants founded the College of Debrecen, later to become the Protestant College of Eastern Europe, famous for educating ministers and teachers for Reformed churches in Eastern Europe. That college is now the theological faculty of the University of Debrecen, and in 1988 its then-dean Dr. Botond Gaal led the celebration of its 450th anniversary.
From his office in Princeton, where he spent the fall as a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI), Gaal was proud to talk about the theological faculty from which he graduated and where he is now professor of Christian dogmatics. “My country sided with the Calvinist part of the Reformation because of the high view those Reformers had of education,” he explained. “We needed schools, and the Reformers began them, including the College of Debrecen. At the end of the sixteenth century, more than 95% of our population was Protestant.”
A bloody Counter Reformation in Hungary changed the balance in favor of Catholicism, but today’s smaller number of Hungarian Protestants are mostly Reformed.
Henry Bogdan: From Warsaw To Sofia in particular Chapter 5: The Age of Ruptures:14th--16th Centuries and Chapter 6: Eastern Europe of the Habsburgs, the Turks and Russia
Reformation Literature and the National Consciousness of Transylvanian Hungarians, Saxons, and Rumanians by LOUIS J. ELTETO
Catholic Encyclopedia: John Laski Uncle - opponent of Prots
Catholic Encylopedia: Nicolaus Oláh
Historical Atlas of Hungary
Catholic Encyclopedia: the Reformation
E. Hungary and Transylvania The Reformation was spread in Hungary by Hungarians who had studied at Wittenberg and had there embraced Lutheranism. In 1525 stringent laws were passed against the adherents of the heretical doctrines, but their numbers continued to increase, especially among the nobility, who wished to confiscate the ecclesiastical property, and in the free cities of the kingdom. Turkish victories and conquest and the war between Ferdinand of Austria and John Zapolya favoured the reformers. In addition to the Lutherans there were soon followers of Zwingli and Calvin in the country. Five Lutheran towns in Upper Hungary accepted the Augsburg Confession. Calvinism, however, gradually won the upper hand, although the domestic disputes between the reforming sects by no means ceased. In Transylvania merchants from Hermannstadt, who had become acquainted with Luther's heresy at Peipzig, spread the Reformation after 1521. Notwithstanding the persecution of the Reformers, a Lutheran school was started at Hermannstadt, and the nobility endeavoured to use the Reformation as a means of confiscating the property of the clergy. In 1529 the regular orders and the most vigorous champions of the Church were driven from the town. At Kronstadt the Lutheran preacher Johann Honter gained the ascendency in 1534, the Mass being abolished and Divine service organized after the Lutheran model. At a synod held iin 1544 the Saxon nation in Transylvania decided in favour of the Augsburg Confession, while the rural Magyars accepted Calvinism. At the Diet of Klausenburg in 1556 general religious freedom was granted and the ecclesiastical property confiscated for the defence of the country and the erection of Lutheran schools. Among the supporters of the Reformation far-reaching divisions prevailed. Besides the Lutherans, there were Unitarians (Socinians) and Anabaptists, and each of these sects waged war against the others. A Catholic minority survived among the Greek Walachians.
F. Poland, Livonia, and Courland
Poles learned of the Reformation through some young students from Wittenberg and through the Bohemian and Moravian Brethren. Archbishop Laski of Gnesen and King Sigismund I (1501-48) energetically opposed the spread of heretical doctrines. However, the supporters of the Reformation succeeded in winning recruits at the University of Cracow, at Posen, and at Dantzig. From Dantzig the Reformation spread to Thorn and Elbing, and certain nobles favoured the new doctrines. Under the rule of the weak Sigismund II (1548-72) there were in Poland, besides the Lutherans and the Bohemian Brethren, Zwinglians, Calvinists, and Socinians. Prince Radziwill and John Laski favoured Calvinism, and the Bible was translated into Polish in accordance with the views of this party in 1563. Despite the efforts of the papal nuncio, Aloisius Lippomano (1556-58) free practice of religion was secretly granted in the aforementioned three cities, and the nobility were allowed to hold private religious services in their houses. The different Reformed sects fought among one another,In Livonia and Courland, the territories of the Teutonic Order, the course of the Reformation was the same as in the other territory of the Order, Prussia. Commander Gotthard Kettler of Courland embraced the Augsburg Confession, and converted the land into a secular hereditary duchy, tributary to Poland. In Livonia Commander Walter of Plettenberg strove to foster Lutheranism, which had been accepted at Riga, Dorpat, and Reval since 1523, hoping thus to make himself independent of the Archbishop of Riga. When Margrave William of Brandenburg became Archbishop of Riga in 1539, Lutheranism rapidly obtained exclusive sway in Livonia.
Johann Laski (Jan a Lasco) Click on flag for English version
Johannes a Lasco in East Friesland. The Career of a Reformer. By Henning P. Jürgens. (Published in German)
This new biography follows the activities of Polish nobleman, humanist, Reformer and theologian Johannes a Lasco (Jan Laski,1499-1560) in East Friesland. The reformer’s career spanned humanism and the Reformation in Poland, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Jürgens begins his analysis with a Lasco’s education, his diplomatic and ecclesiastical activities in Hungary and Poland, his humanist sympathies in Basel and Poland and his turn towards the Reformation. Attention focuses on contacts to Erasmus of Rotterdam, whose library a Lasco purchased, as well as his participation in the Hungarian succession conflict and his encounters with Melanchthon and Albert Hardenberg. A Lasco’s efforts to define the East Frisian Reformed Church against Anabaptists and Catholics and to unify its organization and theology are examined. His negotiations between the developing confessions are analyzed theologically and politically from his energetic correspondence with leading contemporary theologians, organized for the first time here in an appendix. The book concludes with the Interim and a Lasco’s 1549 dismissal as East Frisian Superintendent. 2002. VIII, 428 pages (Spätmittelalter und Reformation Neue Reihe 18). ISBN 3-16-147754-5 cloth EURO 69.00
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