From prince-bishopric to city-state: Nationalizing the Church and creating a republic in reformation Geneva

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Abstract

The essay examines how the Reformation and Genevan revolt against its ruling bishop and the Duke of Savoy 'created' a city-state which had not previously existed. Not only did this mean the secularisation of church lands, buildings and assets but it also effectively created the physical confines of the the new Republic. Geneva's non-urban holdings were the nationalised properties of the bishop and the cathedral canons. The wealth from these lands became the financial underpinings of the city's extensive social welfare/poor relief system. Thus, the Reformation and Revolution not only turned obvious ecclesiatical structures from a sacred to secular use (e.g., the bishop's palace became - and remains - a civic building) but the very landscape changed from lands belonging to ecclesiastics to the territories of the Republic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLayered Landscapes
Subtitle of host publicationEarly Modern Religious Space Across Faiths and Cultures
EditorsEric Nelson, Jonathan Wright
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter8
Pages134-149
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315591711
ISBN (Print)9781472459510, 9780367880484
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2017

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