EMoDiR (Early Modern Religious Dissents and Radicalism) is an international research group dedicated to the study of religious differences, conflicts and plurality in Europe during the early modern period.
The group was first constituted at Pisa by a group of European scholars based in France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the USA and the UK in 2007. After four years, during which the members of the group met regularly and organized a series of workshops in Italy, EMoDiR has formally instituted a scientific organization, based in Verona in 2011. Since then, scholars from a wide range of universities and research centers located in Europe, North America and Australia have joined the group and a series of formal institutional partnerships have been established.
The aim of the research group is to examine the early modern discursive constructions of religious dissent and the socio-cultural practices of radical movements and religious minorities transcending traditional historiographical boundaries (notably national and/or confessional). Since the ‘construction of the dissenter’ is the outcome of a complex process, it is necessary to analyze this process both in terms of internal and synchronic dynamics, and of external and diachronic ones.
We understand religious dissent as discourses, practices, attitudes, or habits that express tension with, or rejection of, the dominant socio-cultural dynamic, whether openly, clandestinely or unconsciously. Study of such dissent must be connected with a thorough reflection about the categories that inspire and structure the researchers’ own terminologies.
From its very beginning EMoDiR has promoted research into the social networks of individuals and specific groups, as well as on the dynamics involved in constructing socio-cultural identities. By considering dissent as a socio-cultural construction rather than a doctrinal position, the first objective of the group consists in deconstructing and historically contextualizing such commonly used categories as dissent, radicalism, dissidence, libertinism, heresy, heterodoxy as prerequisite to a critical and problematic use of them.
Therefore EMoDiR is committed to gathering together a variety of research projects on early modern religious culture conceived as a multi-faceted and dynamic system. This religious culture, moreover, was essential in forging complex identities and encouraging dialogue between them. Analysis, both at local and transnational level (from a predominantly but not exclusively European perspective) is intended to contribute to a cultural and social history of dissent.
- RSA 24 Emodir CFP: Clandestine Diversities: Dissembling and Dissenting in Early Modern Europe
Call for Papers RSA 2023: "Making & Contesting Religious Diversity Practices of Comparison (1350-1700)"
CFP for panels at the next Renaissance Society Annual Conference in San Juan (Puerto Rico), March 9-11, 2023
Making and Contesting Religious Diversity: Practices of Comparison (1350-1700)
EMoDiR is an international research group focusing on the history of religious dissent, radicalism, and minorities in early modern times (emodir.hypotheses.org). Since 2011, the group has organized panels at the RSA annual conferences on practices and conceptual frameworks of religious conflict, heresy, and groups of radical dissent. The panels are characterized by a multiplicity of methodological and theoretical approaches.
EMoDiR is now planning a series of panels discussing practices of comparisons in the context of religious dissent for the upcoming RSA conference in San Juan (March-9-11, 2023).
What was “religious dissent”? How was the “dissenter” or the member of a “religious minority group” different from other believers? And how did difference become dissent? How was it turned into deviance? Since the early years of EMoDiR, we have discussed the role of categories and reflected on the intersection of contemporary and scholarly categorization processes in establishing “early modern dissent” as a subject of study. Through our research and collaboration, we have emphasized the need to distinguish between internal and external perspectives (emic /etic) and to account for the mutability of categories over time. This relational perspective has helped us to uncover a certain fluidity of categorical identifications and to explore ambiguity in terms of deliberate strategy and non-intended effect. In doing so, we have implicitly or explicitly compared different religious groups with each other, both synchronically and diachronically. In observing “religious dissent”, we relied partly on how contemporaries distinguished between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, between orthopraxis and heteropraxis.
On this basis, we would now like to invite contributions that explicitly focus on practices of comparison from a historical perspective: how exactly did people compare religious groups in the late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period? How did they establish similarities and differences, unity and diversity? What elements were chosen as meaningful categories for assessing religious differences? What doctrinal, communicative, and practical means did they have at their disposal to conceptualize and handle religious diversity? What topoi and rhetorical strategies were deployed? What role did space and time play in the positioning of other groups? By exploring practices of comparison in a broad temporal framework (1350-1700), we also want to re-visit the usual periodization schemes prevalent in histories of comparatism to explore how Reformation-era comparisons and categories relate to comparative practices that had emerged in the context of humanism and earlier medieval religious debates. What changes can we observe around the alleged watershed moment of 1500? How did growing global connections and colonial ventures feed into practices of comparison in the religious field?
Focusing on historical comparisons renders visible the multiplicity of past categories and the relationality of categorization work. From this vantage point, a critical view of our own comparative undertakings becomes possible. We thus hope to enrich recent historiographical considerations on comparative approaches in a global context by investigating historical forms and alternative modes of comparison.
We invite contributions and papers which investigate and analyse:
· archives of comparison: heresiologies, lists, catalogues as comparative practices
· mediating comparison: iconographies, formatting, and materiality
· practices of comparison and/in translation
· polemical comparisons: comparisons in religious controversies and their audiences
· gender as an element of religious comparative practices
· temporalization and concepts of time and history
· theories of genealogies: polygenetic and monogenetic approaches
· beyond the binary: comparative operations and concepts of diversity in the religious field
Proposals should be submitted by July 15, 2022 by email to Stefano Villani (email@example.com) and firstname.lastname@example.org with full name, current affiliation, and email address; a paper title (15-word maximum), an abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, Ph.D. completion date (past or expected), and a brief CV (150 words maximum). Inquiries about the content of the CFP can be directed to Christina Brauner (email@example.com) and/or Xenia von Tippelskirch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Christina Brauner, Polemical Comparisons in Discourses of Religious Diversity. Conceptual Remarks and Reflexive Perspectives, in: Entangled Religions 11.4 (2020), DOI: https://doi.org/10.46586/er.11.2020.8692
Renaud Gagné, Simon Goldhill, Geoffrey Lloyd (eds.), Regimes of comparatism : frameworks of comparison in history, religion and anthropology, Leiden/Boston 2018.Anthony Grafton, Glenn W. Most (eds.), Canonical Texts and Scholarly Practices: A Global Comparative Approach, Cambridge UP 2016.
Sophie Houdard, Adelisa Malena and Xenia von Tippelskirch, “Langages dissidents: performances et contestations religieuses à l’époque moderne”, Études Épistémè [Online], 31 | 2017; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/episteme.1750
van der Veer, Peter, The value of comparison, Durham, NC 2016
Vincent Goossaert and Peter Van der Veer, « Introduction », Archives de sciences sociales des religions, 193 | 2021, 11-24.
Caroline Walker Bynum, Interrogating “Likeness”. Fake Friends, Similia Similibus, and Heavenly Crowns, in: Historische Anthropologie 28 (2020), https://doi.org/10.7788/hian.2020.28.1.31
- EMoDiR Roundtable (RSA 2022): Heritagization & Religion in Early Modern Times
- EMoDiR panels (RSA 2022): “Under the Power of God: Trembling, Shaking, and Convulsions in Early Modern religious practices and imagination”
- EMoDiR panels (RSA 2022): “Under the Power of God: Trembling, Shaking, and Convulsions in Early Modern religious practices and imagination”
Call for Papers RSA 2022: "Heritagization & Religion in Early Modern Times Exploring the disciplinary crossroads between heritage, museums and history"
Please consider submitting a proposal for this roundtable on heritagization and religion organized by EMoDiR Research Group through Federico Barbierato, Università di Verona, and Helena Wangefelt Ström, Uppsala University.
What happens when religion becomes heritage, when religious heritage is claimed by different groups with different aims, or when history, heritage studies, and religion intersect? Heritage politics, memorialization (and curated oblivion), and demands for a de-colonialization of the museums are just a few examples of how the field of heritage in recent years has attracted new interest and debates – in society and in academia.
Heritage studies scholars discuss how, by whom, and with what agenda heritage is produced from historical sources, often within anthropological or archaeological contexts. Museums as institutions are not only met with criticism for postcolonial narratives and demands on repatriation of artefacts, but claims on museums are also being made to take on a more active role in contemporary society debates, for example within ICOM (International Council of Museums). Given these premises, and regardless of etymology and terminology, we would here like to situate the production of heritage in a context of Early Modernity and religious dissent.
In this roundtable we invite scholars and museum or other heritage professionals from different disciplines to identify and discuss some key questions in the intersection between heritage (as a concept), heritagization (as a process), historiography, and sensitive religion such as religious dissent, oppressed beliefs, etc. Since heritage studies
methodology is a field under development, and particularly so in a context of history and historical sources, an occasion
to explore and suggest new and fruitful approaches, methodologies, and interdisciplinary collaborations could make a valuable starting point for further work in this field.
Contributors should, freely, adhere to this loosely formulated framework and, most importantly, aim to contribute to a productive discussion. Themes may address, but are not limited to, topics such as
• Transforming religion into heritage: identity building, fear of loss, control of dissent
• Organizing, categorizing, re-contextualizing religious artefacts and memories for new audiences
• Appropriating and/or transforming problematic religious heritage
• Strategic destruction of religious heritage
• Creating and/or using religious heritage within religious mission or international trade
• Cultual and cultural uses of religion in times of religious conflict
• Heritage methodology and historical sources
Anyone interested in submitting an abstract for consideration for this roundtable is kindly invited to do so no later than
August 5 sending it to Federico Barbierato (email@example.com) and Helena Wangefelt Ström
Proposals should include a short abstract with key ideas, theoretical starting points, and/or case studies to discuss (no
longer than 150 words), and a brief academic CV (no longer than 300 words).
Call for Papers RSA 2022: “Under the Power of God: Trembling, Shaking, and Convulsions in Early Modern religious practices and imagination”
EMoDiR is an international research group focusing on the history of religious dissent, radicalism, and minorities in early modern times (emodir.hypotheses.org). Since 2011, the group has organized panels at RSA annual conferences on practices and conceptual frameworks of religious conflict, heresy, and groups of radical dissent. The panels are characterized by a multiplicity of methodological and theoretical approaches.
EMoDiR is now planning for the upcoming RSA conference in Dublin (31 March-2 April 2022) a series of panels on this topic: “Under the Power of God: Trembling, Shaking, and Convulsions in Early Modern religious practices and imagination”.
Many early modern religious groups were characterized by an intense spirituality that stressed the importance of the work of the divine Spirit in each and every true believer. One of the most visible and powerful signs of such spiritual possession was the experience of falling under the power of God, as expressed by the bodily manifestation of shaking, trembling, and convulsing.
The idea of a physical display of God’s possession became a marker of identity of the first generation of Quakers, of the persecuted Huguenots of the Cevennes, and of some Jansenist groups. However, the idea of the body as a prophetic theater was not alien to many people and groups in early modern times, as evidenced by the case of the Sabbatians. While these intense charismatic phenomena were perceived by those who experienced them as intense manifestations of the divine, their representation was used to vilify, denigrate, and ridicule these religious nonconformists. The theological and philosophical discussions about religious "Enthusiasm" were at the center of the confessional polemics of early modern times.
We invite contributions and papers which investigate and analyze:
· The theoretical and theological implications of putting at the center of the religious experience a suffering and contorting body
· The differences and relations between the traditional view of ecstasy and these radical practices
· The question of the debates and practices on how to discern divine from demonic possession and from natural physical or mental illnesses
· A comparative discussion of charismatic manifestations in a global perspective
· The rhetoric against the “enthusiastic” possessions
· The discussion of the “techniques” used to induce these seizure-like shakings
· The stress on these spiritual intense bodily manifestations as a sign of true conversion
· The relationship between mysticism, prophetism, and charismatic manifestation in a gender perspective
Proposals should be submitted by July 30, 2021 by email to Stefano Villani (firstname.lastname@example.org) and email@example.com with full name, current affiliation, and email address; a paper title (15-word maximum), an abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, Ph.D. completion date (past or expected), and a brief CV (150 words maximum).
Simone Maghenzani, and Stefano Villani, eds. British Protestant Missions and the Conversion of Europe, 1600-1900. Routledge Studies in Early Modern Religious Dissents and Radicalism (Abingdon: Routledge, 2020)
Continental Europe was considered a missionary land—another periphery of the world, whose centre was imperial Britain. British missions to Europe were informed by religious experiments in America, Africa, and Asia, rendering these offensives against Europe a true form of "imaginary colonialism". British Protestant missionaries often understood themselves to be at the forefront of a civilising project directed at Catholics (and sometimes even at other Protestants). Their mission was further reinforced by Britain becoming a land of compassionate refuge for European dissenters and exiles. This book engages with the myth of International Protestantism, questioning its early origins and its narrative of transnational belonging, while also interrogating Britain as an imagined Protestant land of hope and glory.
In the history of western Christianities, "converting Europe" had a role that has not been adequately investigated. This is the story of the attempted, and ultimately failed, effort to convert a continent.
Section I. Missionary Models
1. ‘One World is not enough’: the ‘myth’ of Roman Catholicism as a ‘World Religion’
2. The Jesuits have shed much blood for Christ’: Early Modern Protestants and the Problem of Catholic Overseas Missions
Section II. The Origins of Global Protestantism
3. (Re)making Ireland British: Conversion and Civility in a Neglected 1643 Treatise
4. Charting the ‘Progress of Truth’: Quaker Missions and the Topography of Dissent in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Europe
5. The English and the Italian Bible
Section III. Missions and Church Unifications in the Age of the Enlightenment
6. "True Catholic Unity": The Church of England and the Project for Gallican Union, 1717-1719
7. "Promoting the Common Interest of Christ" H.W. Ludolf’s ‘impartial’ Projects and the Beginnings of the SPCK
8. Between Anti-popery and European Missions: The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and its Networks
Section IV. A British Missionary Land
9. The Evangelical Transformation of British Protestantism for Mission
10. The London Jews’ Society and the Roots of Premillenialism, 1809-1829
Brent S. Sirota
11. Missions on the Fringes of Europe: British Protestants and the Orthodox Churches, c. 1800-1850
Section V. Making Propaganda, Making Nations
12. Sermons in Stone: Architecture and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts within the Diocese of Gibraltar, c.1842-1882
G. Alex Bremner
13. The Land of Calvin and Voltaire: British Missionaries in Nineteenth-century Paris
EMODIR ROUTLEDGE SERIES
Titles in the Early Modern Religious Dissents and Radicalism Series address the discursive constructions of religious dissent and the practices of radical movements in the early modern world. The series transcends traditional national and confessional historiographies to examine early modern religious culture as a dynamic system that was essential in forging complex identities and encouraging dialogue among them. The editors seek manuscripts that consider questions of dissent, radicalism, dissidence, libertinism, heresy, and heterodoxy, and examine these themes historically as socio-cultural constructions.
MAPPING EARLY MODERN RELIGIOUS DISSENT EMoDiR Call for Papers RSA 2020 Philadelphia. DEADLINE June 30, 2019
EMoDiR is an international research group focusing on the history of religious dissent and radicalism in Early Modern Europe (emodir.hypotheses.org). Since 2011, the group has organized panels at RSA annual conferences on practices and conceptual frameworks of religious conflict, heresy, and groups of radical dissents. The panels were characterized by a multiplicity of methodological and theoretical approaches. EMoDiR is now planning for the upcoming RSA conference in Philadelphia, and we invite contributions that analyze Early Modern religious history in dialogue with the newer historiographical trends, approaches that underscore the global and interconnected dimensions of the Early Modern world and the historiography about it. We are especially eager to receive proposals focusing on the theme of religious dissent in its relation to space and mobility. The vibrant field of enquiry generally known as "entangled history" has generated challenging methodological suggestions, and we hope to contribute to the mapping of the circulation of radical ideas and religious dissent, and to analyze the instability of the boundaries of faiths and cultures in an ever-changing political and religious geography. We welcome micro and macro, as well as intra-and extra-European, perspectives. We would welcome papers on a range of topics-from social analysis of concrete urban spaces to intellectual investigation of "conceptual" landscapes, as for example, in the case of Early Modern religious atlases. The analysis of borderlands and fluid spaces would be particularly welcome, whether on a global scale (including circulation of people, material objects, and ideas along maritime routes) or on a local level (border areas within cities, towns, and neighbourhoods). Among the diverse manifestations of religious dissent and non-conformity that might be mapped in relation to space and mobility we note:
- religious minorities, with reference to spatial segregation
- food regulations
- exile communities
- religious heterodoxy and social non-conformity (e.g. sexual and gender transgressions) in Early Modern cities
- religious "tourism" (travels to shrines and religiously charged locations, both for religious and cultural purposes)
We would also encourage papers exploring the new opportunities of research opened up for historians of the Early Modern period by technologies and digital humanities, especially in relation to the recent developments in Spatial Humanities and network analysis. Proposals should be submitted by June 30, 2018 by email to Stefano Villani (firstname.lastname@example.org) and email@example.com with full name, current affiliation and email address; a paper title (15-word maximum), an abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, PhD completion date (past or expected), and a brief CV (150 words maximum).
- ROUTLEDGE STUDIES IN EARLY MODERN RELIGIOUS DISSENTS AND RADICALISM