I know about the Thirty Year’s War, but not a lot, and not so much about other religious wars in Europe. Can you educate me?
I don’t have time now, but this is a big subject.
Here are some key phrases (in no particular order) just for the English part of things:
Elizabeth I v Mary, Queen of Scots
Walsingham’s spy network
Henry VIII (divorce + monasteries)
I agree that it is a broad subject.
One thing to keep in mind as you get the great responses that will follow is that “Religion” was often a mask for what was really going on. Sometimes it was the most important reason for conflict, sometimes it was so secondary that differing religions sided temporarily in a coalition to defeat their co-religionists. Noble and Clerical Power structures’ self interest, Embryonic nationalism, culture, booty, all were often causes in the wars to varying degrees (which stretch 100’s of years no matter how you care to define them) - even if it was all wrapped in “Religious” overtones. Same with what we would probably today call something like “political movements” or even “revolutionary groups” would wrap themselves in their interpretation of the Bible and take up arms.
A brief history of the most famous (or notorious) period for conflicts of this kind might be a good kick off point, hence:
Google “St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre” to get a start on France’s Wars of Religion.
What Jimmmy said. Very over-briefly however, it can be summed up as the social and political conflicts resulting from the loss of temporal authority by the Catholic church and the rise of nation states following the end of classic feudalism.
Was there any Catholic vs. Lutheran fighting in Germany, since Germany was the first place Protestantism gained a foothold?
Well, you said you’ve heard of the Thirty Years War, right? Wikipedia can be a great place to get some introductory information about things like this:
Heh, looking at that map Europe at the wikipedia link reminds me of playing Europa Universalis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_Universalis_III.
That would be your basic 30 Years War, with side conflicts and petty jealousies. Start with The Defenestration of Prague and go from there.