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Episcopal system
(756 words)

The term episcopal system denotes a legal theory explaining why Protestant German princes governed the churches in their territories episcopally (Latin episcopale). In the Germany of the Reformation period (1517–1555), hardly any incumbent bishops aligned themselves with the Reformation. At the same time, the Protestant estates of the realm insisted that the incumbent bishops were no longer allowed to exercise jurisdiction over Protestant citizens (Jurisdiction). Instead the Protestant political elites themselves – that is, princes and town councils…

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Schneider, Bernd Christian, “Episcopal system”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 20 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_018826>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170626



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