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Fri, 07 Sep 2012 11:51:53 EDT by admin, 117552 views
University College Dublin
History paper by Ó hAnnracháin, Tadhg Pól (all papers)
Finding the Future in the Past: Péter Pázmány’s Felelet
This paper examines the historical perspective articulated by Péter Pázmány, the future primate of Hungary, in the Felelet, his first major vernacular work, produced in answer to what he saw as the calumniation of Hungarian Catholicism by the preacher István Magyari. In this text, Pázmány offered an alternative providential explanation for the disaster of the Turkish conquest in sixteenth century Hungary. In his published work, Magyari had ascribed the Turkish invasion to divine chastisement of the Hungarian nation for the sins of its Catholics, particularly because of the idolatrous nature of Catholic worship. Drawing heavily on the Old Testament, Magyari had argued that Chosen People had been heavily punished for Idolatry on several occasions and suggested that only the pure religion of Hungary’s Lutherans had preserved a remnant of the old kingdom from the Turks. Pázmány’s text offered an alternative reading which linked the fall of the Hungarian kingdom to the advent of Lutheranism so that a realm which had stood for hundreds of years while the Catholic faith had been preserved was swiftly overthrown when heresy began to sap it from within. Not only does the text offer an alternative historical narrative but Pázmány engaged also with Magyari’s biblical examples. While accepting that idolatry was a feature of God’s anger with the chosen people (and of course denying any idolatrous component in Catholic worship), his discussion concentrated on the punishment of the Jews for the crime of innovation in religion, in effect for heresy. The implications of Pázmány’s argument was that by preserving the critical element of the Hungarian past, its Catholic identity, the nation could once find a future as God would assist in the turning back of the Turkish conquest.
Brief Professional Bio:
Tadhg Pól Ó hAnnracháin is Senior Lecturer in the School of History and Archives, University College Dublin. He studied at the National Univerity of Ireland and received his PhD in 1995 from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. Dr. Ó hAnnracháin's major research interest concerns the Catholic Reformation in Early Modern Europe, with a particular emphasis on peripheral areas of the continent, especially, Ireland, Britain and Hungary.