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Call for Papers: War in Ukraine

Theological, Ethical and Historical Reflections
Vienna Postgraduate Symposium

13.-17. Februar 2023

Organized by: Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Vienna

The Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine that escalated in February 2022 will have been a matter of intense global concern for almost one year by the time the symposium will take place. The war has drawn a lot of public and academic attention to Ukraine, its history, people, culture, churches and religions. Furthermore, the war has also questioned many assumptions and alleged certainties in theology, ethics, historical studies and related disciplines. It is hard to predict what the situation will be in six months from now, but we know that the questions that this war raises, will remain issues of debate and attention for a long time. These questions are not only related to politics, economics and civil life, but also pose particular challenges to the churches and religious institutions. The challenges for the churches and their representatives to respond properly to the situation are enormous. Since they play an important role in the current conflicts, their response, however, will be crucial to the future of Europe and, eventually, peace.

Against this background the symposium aims to create a safe space for analysis and reflection, for the exchange of ideas and knowledge, for inspiring encounters and networking. The symposium welcomes in particular postgraduate Ukrainian scholars from the fields of Theology, Religious Studies, and History (or related disciplines), who either live in Ukraine or had to leave the country in the past months. Scholars from other countries, who are working on topics related to the current war, are equally invited to participate.

From an interdisciplinary perspective of various disciplines, the symposium aims to align theological research, historical accounts and philosophical-ethical questions with the current situation in Ukraine as well as to reflect on the challenges that go along with the war and its containment. The spectrum of possible proposals is very broad. Contributions may address topics from the following areas:
• Religious landscape of Ukraine in the past and present
• Significance of religion in Ukraine since the Middle Ages
• Ukrainian cultural identity and heritage in the European context
• Historical accounts of the Russian war against Ukraine and the role of historical narratives
• Ethical perspectives on the war, justice, peace and other related issues
• Churches and religious organizations in the context of the war (pastoral care, diplomacy, reconciliation)
• Impact of the war on the ecumenical and interreligious relations
• Post-war challenges and questions of international relations and international security

We invite all interested scholars to send proposals for contributions (lectures, workshops, presentations…). In particular, we encourage colleagues from Ukraine to do so. Please send a short summary of your planned contribution (approx. 350 words, max. 2 pages) and a short biography (approx. 150 words) to . Both proposals and contributions should be written in English. Submission deadline is the 30th of September 2022.

30th of September 2022: Deadline for proposal submissions
30th of October 2022: Information about the acceptance or rejection of the proposal via e-mail
15th of December 2022: End of registration period
13th – 17th of February 2023: Symposium

Please note that the symposium will be held in Vienna and that we are strongly committed to meeting on site. Nevertheless, we will offer the possibility of participation online for those who cannot attend in person for serious reasons (e.g., travel restrictions, family circumstances etc.). In this case, please contact us in advance so we can find an individualized solution. Those accepted as speakers will have free travel and housing for the duration of the conference.

In order to offer you additional support for your academic career in these difficult times, we aim to publish the submitted contributions after the symposium.

If you have any further questions, please contact us via e-mail at or visit

We are looking forward to receiving numerous submissions!

pdfCall for Papers als PDF