In the contest for hearts and minds in Germany, the Roman Catholic Church made great use of revaluing shrines and sacred places. New glass technology made it easier to display relics, which continues to show how technology can affect something like religion. The revaluing of the shrines was used to elicit anger against the Protestants for having mistreated the dead.
He continues the interesting history of the Transylvanian church.
A Puritan strain in the Transylvanian church elicited worry from the clerical establishment becuase it "would make religion an elitist matter, despising the bulk of Christians." Good point.
The homosexuality of King Henri III of France is discussed and how it impacted his public personae and attempts to conciliate various sides. Well-written section on the collapse of the Valois dynasty.
Francois de Sales and his associates attracted me. A quote of his "We must hold it a sure truth that men do more for love and charity than under severity and rigour." His attempts at reform "sprang from an urge to open up everyone to an intense personal experience of divine love."
Reminders of my seminars on logic and metaphysics in the discusion of Molina and possible worlds. This sets up Jansenism, which was one of those movements I knew very little about, so glad to know more about it. Basically, it was the Catholic Protestant reform, emphasizing Bible reading, predestination, and an Augustinian view of sin, will, and grace.
MacCulloch posits that apocalypticism was a major component of the lead-up to the Thirty Year's War, particularly as various Protestants and their monarchs were looking for a King David to complete the work begun by Luther (the Moses figure). He writes that the failures of various monarchs to fulfill the role resulted in a lessening of the aura of monarchy.
A great name for a religious scandal -- the "defenestration of Prague." The Hussites cast some Habsburg representatives out the window onto a compost heap on May 23, 1618. It was one of the episodes leading up to the war.
The Utraquist Hussites are the only major European church to pass completely out of existence -- destroyed in the war.
In an interesting conclusion to Part II and the chapter on the Thirty Year's War, MacCulloch concludes with Rene Descartes and his critical, skeptical examination of certainty.