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Call for Papers: Looking Beyond the Paradigm

Reformation and Religious Diversity across Borders and Cultures in Central and Southeastern Europe

8.-11. Juni 2023

The Reformation Research Consortium, the Institute for German Culture and History of Southeastern Europe at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the Lutheran Theological University in Budapest, the Association of Transylvanian Studies/Asociaţia de Studi Transilvane Sibiu and the Centre for Reformation Studies in Budapest invite submissions for an international academic conference focused on transcultural and transborder activities, initiatives and persons, who reached across cultural and linguistic divides in their efforts to spread and support or hinder the Protestant Reformation. The conference provides the occasion to establish a new book series: Studies of Early Modern Christianity in Central and Southeastern Europe.

The premise is to examine developments as parts of entangled histories in the region. The goal is not to negate existing historiographies, but rather to enrich them, to broaden academic horizons and to highlight the interconnectedness of societies, in particular concerning Protestants in the regions under scrutiny. Presentations should also take cultural-historical relevance into account. The conference organizers furthermore strive to present a critical approach, which focuses not only on best practices but also highlights conflicts, rivalries and estrangements. The planned conference aims to take a first step towards moving beyond the hitherto dominant national or denominational / ecclesial paradigm and explore some of the important contributions to Protestantism from the Reformation era until today in a multiperspectival way.

We invite paper proposals from various disciplines, with a focus on, but not limited to, church history, religious history, cultural history, history of literature, and theology. The submission of abstracts by two or more scholars who wish to present a joint paper exploring various cross-border or cross-cultural topics is possible.

Proposed papers may focus on:

  • cross-border and cross-linguistic contacts, Protestant networks and knowledge transfers in Central and Southeastern Europe during the time of the Protestant Reformation;
  • the frontiers of Reformation in Central and Southeastern Europe: the center and periphery pattern revisited;
  • uses and misuses of the comparative approach(es): time/timing, space, pace, narratives and processes;
  • the dilemmas of the historiography of Reformation in Central and Southeastern Europe: reception vs. native tradition;
  • the benefits of a Long Reformation (1500–1800) concept applied to Central and Southeastern European sources and historical realities;
  • linguistic and imagined communities, reformations and the emergence of the vernacular education in Central and Southeastern Europe;
  • early modern literature, literacy and mediality in the context of denominational traditions and beyond, transnational examples;
  • trans-, inter and supraconfessional phenomena amongst early modern Central European communites in the context of the multidenominational state;
  • the shared heritage of the Reformation today: memory cultures or commemorations that developed in the 19th and 20 th centuries around persons or events bridging various cultures and languages.

Abstracts with a maximum length of 500 words are requested to be sent to Dr. Ulrich A. Wien at by 15th May 2022. Applicants will be informed about the decision of the organizers by the end of May 2022.

The conference is planned as an in-person event and will take place on the premises of the Lutheran Theological University in Budapest, Hungary. Depending on the further development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference may be held online. A publication of select papers from the conference is planned.

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