Prof. Dr. Ronald G. Asch
Early Modern History
Internal Senior Fellow
October 2016 - July 2017
Ronald G. Asch, born in Hamburg in 1953, is a graduate of Tübingen University where he also completed his doctorate (1982) on the counts of Fürstenberg in the 16th and 17th centuries after having studied earlier in Kiel and in Cambridge (Clare Hall). He has held a research fellowship at the German Historical Institute London (1985-88) and a lectureship at the University of Münster in Germany (1988-1996), where he submitted his Habiliationsschrift (The Court of Charles I) in 1991. From autumn 1996 to spring 2003 he held the chair of early modern history at the University of Osnabrück and has been teaching at the university of Freiburg for the last 13 years. For six years (2006-2012) he chaired the junior research group Friends, patrons, followers in Freiburg. He is also one of the founders of the of the DFG-Sonderforschungsbereich 948, Helden-Heroisierungen-Heroismen (Heroes, heroism and the construction of the heroic) in Freiburg. He was one key researchers and fellows of the school of history of the FRIAS in 2008-2011 and has also held visiting fellowships at Frankfurt and Konstanz universities over the last couple of years. He is a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Academia Europaea.
- Europäischer Adel in der frühen Neuzeit. Eine Einführung, Cologne, 2008.
- Sacral Kingship between Disenchantment and Re-enchantment. The French and English Monarchies c. 1587-1688, New York /Oxford 2014.
- (Editor): Hannover, Großbritannien und Europa: Erfahrungsraum Personalunion 1714-1837, Göttingen 2014.
- Monarchy in Western and Central Europe, in: Hamish Scott (ed.) Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History 1350-1750, vol. II: Cultures and Power, Oxford 2015, pp. 355-384.
- Herbst des Helden: Modelle des Heroischen und heroische Lebensentwürfe in England und Frankreich von den Religionskriegen bis zum Zeitalter der Aufklärung. Ein Essay, (Publikationen des SFB 948, Helden, Heroisierungen, Heroismen), Würzburg 2016.
On the eve of war: Europe between the Edict of Nantes and the outbreak of the Thirty Years War.
The two decades before the outbreak of the Thirty Years War have often been seen as a highroad to war or as a mere interlude in a political and confessional strife going back to the 1560s and not ending until the mid-17th century, but such an interpretation ignores the strong countervailing forces which were in evidence in the early 17th century. It is the objective of the planned study to revise this interpretation and to show that during these two decades many of the foundations were laid both for the intellectual framework and the political structures which ensured that confessional conflicts became easier to contain in the later 17th century, although they did by no means disappear. While the frontlines between the confessional churches had certainly hardened in the later 16th century, the early 17th century saw a number of attempts to build bridges between the warring factions and to find some common ground between them. The Oath of Allegiance in England (1606) marked one such attempt to distinguish between political loyalty and religious allegiance but French Gallicanism in combination with the re-sacralisation of royal power at the end of the war of religions can also be seen as an effort to render the foundations of secular authority fireproof and to protect them against the fallout of religious strife. At the same time late humanism and the new philosophy of neo-Stoicism but also the language of an increasingly secularised ius gentium (Grotius) provided an important vocabulary for trans-confessional communication and understanding.