Racel Small

My dissertation, “In the Wake of Disaster: Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Early Modern Germany (ca. 1520-1720),” examines the impact that natural disasters, such as wildfires and floods, had on communities of religious co-existence in which both Protestants and Catholics lived amongst one another. In particular, I am comparing the impact of catastrophic events that took place in the predominantly Lutheran region of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel to those that occurred in the mixed-confessional region of Osnabrück in Lower Saxony. This comparison will provide insight into how local governments and charitable institutions handled disaster relief aid in various circumstances and the extent to which the distribution of this aid worked to either further marginalize religious minority groups or to foster mutual cooperation amongst such groups. Moreover, my research will focus on cases in which religious spaces, such as parish churches and monasteries, were damaged during a natural disaster, exploring whether or not this led to heightened tensions amongst religious groups.