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Pietas Austriaca

by Anna Coreth

Publication Year: 2004

Pietas Austriaca is a path-breaking study of the relationship between religious beliefs and practices and Habsburg political culture from the end of the medieval period to the early twentieth century. In this seminal work, Anna Coreth examines the ways that Catholic beliefs in the power of the Eucharist, the cross, the Virgin Mary, and saints were crucial for the Habsburg ruling dynasties in Austria and Spain.

Published by: Purdue University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

With this book, Central European Studies opens a new salient in its scholarly agenda by expanding the availability of previously published classics. Although its mandate includes the reissue of any major out-of-print title, William Bowman’s expert translation of Pietas Austriaca makes one of the field’s landmark...

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pp. ix-x

As with the publication of any book, many people have helped with the translation of Pietas Austriaca. My heartfelt thanks go to Anna Coreth. From the beginning she was an enthusiastic supporter of the project to prepare an English-language translation of her book. Of course, her original work was the inspiration for the project, but she also met with me several times in...

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pp. xi-xviii

It has become commonplace to claim that everything has changed since September 11, 2001. The attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., have seemingly ushered in a new historical period. The years 2001–03 will become a line of demarcation similar to 1914–18, 1939–45, and 1989–91 for the world and the way it sees itself and...

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Notes to the Text

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pp. xix-xx

A few notes on the translation will help the reader. Pietas Austriaca is really three books in one. There is the basic text, which should be accessible to a general audience, whether it be college undergraduates or those interested in the history of religion or ideas. Additionally, there is a second book in Coreth’s footnotes. Much of this text is in early modern German or Latin and appears...

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Preface to the Second Edition

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pp. xxi-xxiii

The author is extremely pleased over the success of this slim and modest study, which, in its first edition, was published in 1959. The term pietas austriaca, Austrian piety, has been adopted by historians and scholars and has had a stimulating effect on research in the history of spirituality. This, in turn, was an incentive for the publisher, as well as the author, to publish a new edition...

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Introduction: Piety as a Princely Virtue

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pp. 1-12

In the medieval mirrors of princes,* the piety of a sovereign was accorded great importance. Piety was considered to be the obvious foundation of any good government. Contrary to Machiavellian views, which appeared first in the Renaissance and then spread rapidly, Catholic-Habsburg political theorists and publicists of the Counter Reformation and of the baroque period viewed piety...

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1. Eucharistic Piety (Pietas Eucharistica)

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pp. 13-36

In opposition to the denial of the sacrificial character of the mass and the real presence of Christ in the eucharist, the Council of Trent (1545–1563) emphasized the definition of dogmas concerning the sacrament of the altar and put great weight upon worshipping it with reverence.¹ Reception of communion was considered therefore to be the most important instrument and goal...

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2. Faith in the Cross of Christ (Fiducia in Crucem Christi)

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pp. 37-44

As a further sign of the Austrian imperial family’s piety, the author Vernulaeus cites in his work its members’ extraordinary trust in the holy cross. Just as with the eucharist, the cross of Christ was very much at the center of Catholic religiosity; its veneration had been present in one form or another in every historical era of the church. From time to time it had received new...

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3. Marian Piety (Pietas Mariana)

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pp. 45-80

First of all I want to recall here Schönleben’s dictum that there were three columns that supported Austria’s rule: Catholic religious devotion, veneration of the sacraments, and veneration of Mary Immaculate.¹ This author viewed religious fervor as the general foundation of the pietas austriaca, and devotion to the sacraments was definitely first among the concrete forms of...

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4. The Veneration of Saints

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pp. 81-87

The preceding chapters have discussed which mysteries of the Catholic faith were fundamental to the pietas austriaca of the baroque era. Further, we have seen that this piety was thought to be the essence of Habsburg character, a prerequisite of true rulership, and a guarantee of the position and prerogatives of the family. By no means did the devotions of the imperial family end with...

Coreth’s Primary Sources

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pp. 89-91

Coreth’s Secondary Literature

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pp. 92-98


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pp. 99-111


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pp. 113-117

E-ISBN-13: 9781612490595
E-ISBN-10: 161249059X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557531599
Print-ISBN-10: 1557531595

Page Count: 120
Publication Year: 2004