Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-24214
Loetz, F (2008). How far could free religious thinking go?: the case of Johann Rudolf Werdmüller, Zurich 1658. Journal of Religious History, 32(4):409-421.
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In 1658, Johann(es) Rudolf Werdmüller, a renowned Zurich general and diplomat, was accused of blasphemy. As it referred to essential religious matters, the accusation had a considerable public impact. The court files of the case provide evidence of wider battles over the desirability and nature of religious tolerance. Instead of narrating a case story this analysis suggests a different approach to the history of religion. The sources are not taken as documents expressing a discursive system of philosophical points of view and their appearance in religious polemics. Rather, the court files stand for specific speech acts, i.e. verbal performances in the linguistic sense. Thus, Werdmüller’s example is taken to demonstrate that those considered to be blasphemers in the era of confessionalisation did not simply express religious scepticism in the form of “discourses,” nor did they rebel against authority figures or resort to forms of magic. Rather, they provoked their society, discussed religious matters, entertained their audience and competed wittingly with those interested in religious issues. In conclusion, it is proposed that the history of religion should not be confined to a history of ideas and religious doctrines but should integrate linguistic approaches.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed, original work|
|Communities & Collections:||06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of History|
|Dewey Decimal Classification:||900 History|
|Deposited On:||24 Nov 2009 11:51|
|Last Modified:||23 Nov 2012 15:46|
|Additional Information:||The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com|
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