Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Das Simultaneum: Ein Staatskirchenrechtliches, Politisches Und Theologisches Problem Des Alten Reiches

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Das Simultaneum: Ein Staatskirchenrechtliches, Politisches Und Theologisches Problem Des Alten Reiches

Article excerpt

Das Simultaneum: Ein staatsktrcbenrecbtliches, politisches and theologisches Problem des alten Reiches. By Christoph Schafer. [Europaische Hochschulschriften. Reihe II: Rechtswissenschaft, Band 1787.] (New York: Peter Lang. 1995. Pp. xvi, 168. $42.95.)

This slight volume contains only 141 pages of text, with twenty-six pages of bibliography and an extensive seven-page table of contents. It is the dissertation submitted by Dr. Schafer to the law faculty of the University of Freiburg-imBreisgau during the winter semester, 1994-95. It exhibits both the virtues and the failings of its type. The subject of this dissertation, das Simultaneum, concerns the extension of religious liberties to a minority after the Peace of Westphalia had frozen the confessional divisions of Germany in the mid-seventeenth century. Could a German rules alter the situation inherited from Westphalia? If so, by what right? To what extent could this be done? Did the jus reformandi guaranteed the princes in the Peace of Augsburg (1555) cover this situation? What status did international treaties, such as the religious clause in the Treaty of Ryswick, have? Can the prince.extend to a religious minority only the freedom of conscience and worship in the home, as guaranteed by the Westphalian settlement? Or can the prince extend to a minority the corporate right to the exercitium religionis privatum, i.e., the right to own a church building and to hold congregational services? What about the exercitium religionis publicum, i.e., to engage in such public acts as ringing bells to call the faithful to services, holding processions outside the church building, etc.? In fact, none of these questions was definitively answered during the period between the Peace of Westphalia and the end of the Holy Roman Empire, indicating once again the inability of the German state to resolve significant problems under the constitutional arrangements prevailing during this period. …

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