In 1593, Heinrich Heshusius received a call to act as pastor and superintendent in the city of Hildesheim, a thriving town in Lower Saxony that had enjoyed continuous Lutheran worship since the Schmalkald War fifty years earlier.2 This final posting would be the most challenging position of Heshusius’s ministry, as well as his last. Hildesheim was located within a Roman Catholic bishopric bordering the duchy of BraunschweigWolfenbüttel that was currently the seat of Prince-Bishop Ernst II of Bavaria (r. 1573-1612), one of the Wittelsbach dukes engaged in CounterReformation activities throughout the Holy Roman Empire. The 1555 Peace of Augsburg granted the city of Hildesheim a certain measure of spiritual autonomy, including the ability to choose its own religion and pastors, but Ernst II was not content with his minority position in the city. In addition to being administrator of the bishopric of Hildesheim, he held the sees of Münster, Freising, and Lìege, and had been named Archbishop of Cologne and an Imperial Elector in 1583. And yet in terms of its day-to-day operations, Hildesheim was a “Lutheran” city-its first Lutheran church order was written by Johannes Bugenhagen in 1542, and by the 1590s there were eight Lutheran churches operating within the city under the general authority of a Lutheran superintendent and a supportive town council. For scholars looking for a place to study the

process of confessionalization and especially bi-confessional politics first hand, Hildesheim seems to be a promising test case.