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White Eagle, Black MadonnaOne Thousand Years of the Polish Catholic Tradition$
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Robert E. Alvis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823271702

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823271702.001.0001

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The Promise and the Peril of Liberty (1506–1648)

The Promise and the Peril of Liberty (1506–1648)

(p.77) 4 The Promise and the Peril of Liberty (1506–1648)
White Eagle, Black Madonna

Robert E. Alvis

Fordham University Press

A functional government, military success, economic expansion made the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries a golden age for Poland-Lithuania. In this era, new Christian movements challenged the former dominance of the Catholic Church in Europe. Poland’s political culture created a climate of tolerance at odds with a broader European experience marked by religious persecution. Protestant momentum peaked in the mid-sixteenth century and receded before a revitalized Catholic Church. Catholic leaders invested in schools, a better educated clergy, and printed materials designed to nurture faith. Generous patrons lavished their wealth on artistic and architectural projects that clearly echoed aesthetic conventions in other parts of Europe.

Keywords:   Stanisław Hozjusz, Protestant Reformation, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Renaissance, Piotr Skarga, Union of Brest, Union of Lublin, Vasa Dynasty

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