Church, Censorship and Reform in the Early Modern Hapsburg Netherlands

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Violet Soen, Dries Vanysacker, Wim François
  • Bristol, CT: 
    Brepols Publishers
    , October
     239 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Jesse Spohnholz forthcoming.


In recent years, historiography has come to rethink the traditional account of a state-backed Counter-Reformation in the early modern Habsburg Netherlands. Hence, this volume takes a refreshing perspective on the themes of church and reform in this region from the late fifteenth century onwards. The first part interrogates the dynamics of repression and censorship in matters of religion. Six chapters underline that this censorship was not only state- or church-driven, but performed by a multitude of actors, ranging from professional organisations to university theologians. Throughout the Ancient Regime, this resulted in an institutionally and regionally fragmented policy, opening margins of manoeuver for those concerned. A second part focuses on more internal impulses for Catholic Reform in the sixteenth century, especially those created by the Council of Trent. As such, this volume helps to contextualise the Counter-Reformation of the seventeenth century in a long-term perspective, identifying the myriad of actors and motives behind this Catholic revival.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Violet Soen is professor of early modern history at the Catholic University of Leuven.

Dries Vanysacker is professors of history of the church and theology at the Catholic University of Leuven.

Wim François is professors of history of the church and theology at the Catholic University of Leuven.

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