The essays in this volume reflect the broader interpretation of culture as a system of shared meanings, values, attitudes and symbolic forms in any sphere of human life. Although thematically diverse, all these studies adhere to the concept of what is sometimes termed the new cultural history or socio-cultural history. The work opens with a cluster of methodological and historiographical reflections. Topics covered by the thematic sections include confessional and religious life in early modern Europe, symbolism and representation, strife and accommodation among different denominations compelled to live in a common space, order and hierarchy, cracks in the machinery of authority and the threat of disintegration as well as the history of alphabetization, literacy and reading and writing practices. This book pays tribute to Istvan Gyorgy Toth (1956-2005), Head of the Department of Early-Modern History at the Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Professor of History at Central European University (both in Budapest), until his premature death in 2005.
Jaroslav Miller is Associate Professor of History at Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic Laszlo Kontler is Professor of History at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary