One of the great challenges facing Europe in the 21st century is to enable the peaceful coexistence of religions. The constructive handling of religious and confessional plurality is a task that has accompanied the history of Europe since its beginnings. The emergence of religious peace settlements from the 16th century onward pointed the way for all modern developments. They represent an essential building block for the constitution of the modern European state system. At the same time, they allow deep insights into the handling of religious coexistence as well as the development of the idea of tolerance and make it possible to understand today's religious plurality and to deal with it appropriately. Early modern religious peace regulations are legal regulations of confessional coexistence that made use of different enactment forms such as treaties, imperial dietary decrees, edicts, mandates, etc.. They are found not only in the well-known annexes (armistices) and religious peace treaties of the 16th century, such as the Augsburg Religious Peace (1555) or the Edict of Nantes (1598), but also in interstate peace treaties, trade and alliance treaties, or marriage contracts between confessional partners of the nobility. Religious peace settlements also guaranteed toleration for those who would have been accused of heresy and persecuted under the applicable religious law. In this respect, they set the course for the development of religious freedom and tolerance. They reshaped the relationship between religion and politics in Europe, laid the foundation for modern religious law, and pointed the way to modernity.
This long-term project will editorially bring together the European religious peace settlements in the period from 1485 (Kuttenberg Landtagsabschied) to 1791 (Constitution Française) and make them available digitally in open access with German and English introductions for the international scientific community for the first time. It will comprehensively document the ramified emergence of the culture of religious peace in the »communication space of Europe« and make it accessible in a new way, as well as contribute to a changed view of Europe, its history and its handling of religious differences, and offer a key to understanding today's problematic situations. In doing so, it applies innovative digital methods and promotes their further development, sets new standards for digital editing, and at the same time promotes the qualification of young scholars.