Holy war and Divine peace. Interpretations of War and Peace in European sermons of the Early Modern period

The project, a follow-up to the cooperation project “Righteousness and peace kiss each other – Representations of Peace in Early Modern Europe”, is concerned with the question of how peace sermons of the 17th and 18th centuries represented, evaluated and parenetically used war events and peace agreements. Did the sermons contribute to giving theological legitimacy to individual war events or even to the means of war in general? Were peace agreements understood as negotiation successes of the participating potentates or as divine events that were removed from human action? Can peace be ascribed a sacral character? What consequences did preachers draw from coping with warlike events for ethical orientation in the future? And what changes occurred with the Enlightenment ideas in these sermons? On the basis of a source inventory of several hundred European sermons and other related texts such as prayers, songs and liturgies, these questions are examined in an interconfessional and international comparison. The sources include court sermons, sermons at urban and village congregations, but also to soldiers. They show – while war and peace are viewed in general as the work of God – a situational adaptation of the statements and a clear development over the centuries.


Title Research Project

Holy war and Divine peace. Interpretations of War and Peace in European sermons of the Early Modern period


Name of the Organizing Institution

Leibniz-Institute of European History (IEG)


Name of Coordinator of the Project

Dr. Henning P. Jürgens


Duration of the Project



Further Information

You will find further information here.


Possibilities to Join the Project

Scholars with an active research interest in the topic are welcome to get into contact with the project partners and may collaborate in the framework of the research platform WissKi.



Dr. Henning P. Jürgens
Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte (IEG)
Alte Universitätsstraße 19
D – 55116 Mainz
Tel: +49 (0) 6131-39-39340
Fax: +49 (0) 6131-39-30153

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