Conference Background and Purpose
Since the 1980s the paradigm of confessionalisation has become a common basis of a lot of research in the ‘confessional age’ in European history. Especially the German historians Wolfgang Reinhard and Heinz Schilling have argued that a process ofconfessionalisation, following in the wake of the Reformation, was an important phase in the development of the modern state. Within all of the three dominant confessions of Germany, Lutheranism, the Reformed Church, and Roman Catholicism, the outcome of the process was confessional societies in which church and state worked closely together, and ecclesiastical and social discipline played an important role in making people think and behave like devoted Christians. In opposition to this view the German church historian Thomas Kaufmann has formulated an alternative concept, namely that of ‘confessional culture’,Konfessionskultur. With this concept he points to the fact that although Lutheran, Reformed and Catholic territories in the German Empire to a certain degree went through the same social and political development, there were substantial differences within the cultural sphere: Each confession developed its own distinct confessional culture.
The purpose of the conference in January 2016 is to compare the confessional cultures that developed in the early modern period in the Lutheran parts of the German Empire and in the Nordic countries. Up to now very often German Lutheran concepts of confessional identity have been used as normative models for Scandinavian Lutheranism as well. This ignores the fact that the cultural and political conditions were very different. There is no doubt that Lutheranism had a deep impact on the societies dominated by this version of the Christian religion, but although the forms and consequenses of Lutheranism in the different German territories and estates and in the Scandinavian countries might be similar, they are by no means identic. Above all there seems not to be a Scandinavian parallel for the theological struggles of German Lutheranism, something which might be the origin for many other developments. Seeing Germany and Scandinavia as specific, but interconnected types of a multifold Lutheran confessional culture, the conference aims to historically reconstruct Lutheranism in unity as well as diversity.
Call for papers
Invited speakers at the conference include Charlotte Appel (Roskilde), Otfried Czaika (Oslo), Scott Dixon (Belfast), Jan Harasimowicz (Wrocław), Sabine Holtz (Stuttgart), Thomas Kaufmann (Göttingen) and Tarald Rasmussen (Oslo). An additional number of speakers will be found through this open call for papers, in which the organizers invite scholars from Germany and Scandinavia as well as from other countries to send in proposals for papers.
All topics enabling to characterise the confessional profile of Lutheranism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries can be presented in papers for the conference, whether it is the way that special Lutheran characteristics came to expression in legal, institutional, educational, liturgical, doctrinal or devotional regards, or it is specific Lutheran types of mentality or life style more in general.
Papers are expected to present new research results built on empirical material that can, besides from books, manuscripts and other written texts, encompass also pictures, monuments and buildings as well as other material objects. As a consequence papers are welcome not only from the disciplines of history and church history, but also from neighbouring disciplines such as history of art, literature and music. Papers can treat either Germany or Scandinavia, or both of these areas, but to fulfil the conference purpose it will in all cases be necessary to apply a comparative approach.
Papers shall have a length of 35-40 minutes. After the conference a publication with a leading university press is planned. Before the publication the contributions will go through a normal academic process of peer revision and editing.
Paper proposals for the conference must include a title and an abstract of approximately 300 words, indicating empirical basis as well as approach and results of the research to be presented. Based on the abstracts the organizers will select the papers to be included in the conference. Scholars whose papers are included will have travel expenses as well as accommodation paid for by the conference.
Proposals shall be sent to the organizers, using the e-mail addresses below, no later than 15 April 2015. Scholars will be informed of whether their paper proposals have been accepted by 15 May 2015.
The conference is organized by Professor of Church History at Aarhus University in Denmark Per Ingesman and Professor of Church History at the Georg-August-University Göttingen in Germany Thomas Kaufmann.
Source : The Reformation Research Consortium