Abstract and Keywords
What did Protestants need to know, and how were they given access to this knowledge? This chapter explores the spread of university and school education in Protestant areas during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, considering schools, their place in church orders, their curricula and their importance as models of good civic and godly order. Despite Luther’s pessimistic view of human reason, the article highlights the role of Protestant education in inspiring new approaches to the natural world: Melanchthon, amongst others, saw study of the natural world as leading the observer to God. The rise of Jesuit education indicates that early modern Catholic education was being restructured according to similar principles. Across Western Europe, education was intended to support the divinely imposed civic order, and to train young people to be good citizens who would contribute to a “godly society”.
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