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Regulars and Nuns at War

Religieux et religieuses à la guerre

Practices and Experiences (15th-21st c.)

Pratiques et expériences entre les XVe et XXIe siècles

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Published on Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Abstract

This conference aims to analyze the individual and collective experiences of members of male and female religious orders facing war and related experiences, as actors and not simply as observers or victims. From the Wars of Religion to the conflicts of the Revolutionary Era, from guerilla warfare to the clashes of massed armies; from armed revolts to attempted ethnic cleansing, we will explore the agency of a specific category that is particularly relevant in Early Modern and Modern Catholicism: male and female members of religious orders, who live in a community by following a rule of life. While sharing at least partially the imaginaries, interpretative frameworks and codes of action of their contemporaries, these women and men experience war with its violence from a situated point of view; that of groups which see themselves as spiritual elites. It is therefore a question of pointing out the practical as well as the symbolic, spiritual, and psychological consequences of this belonging, without forgetting the conflicts of loyalty specific to these actors with multiple identities.

Announcement

Argument

This conference aims to analyze the individual and collective experiences of members of male and female religious orders facing war and related experiences, as actors and not simply as observers or victims. From the Wars of Religion to the conflicts of the Revolutionary Era, from guerilla warfare to the clashes of massed armies; from armed revolts to attempted ethnic cleansing, we will explore the agency of a specific category that is particularly relevant in Early Modern and Modern Catholicism: male and female members of religious orders, who live in a community by following a rule of life. While sharing at least partially the imaginaries, interpretative frameworks and codes of action of their contemporaries, these women and men experience war with its violence from a situated point of view; that of groups which see themselves as spiritual elites. It is therefore a question of pointing out the practical as well as the symbolic, spiritual, and psychological consequences of this belonging, without forgetting the conflicts of loyalty specific to these actors with multiple identities.

Especially in the context of a patriarchal institution – the Catholic Church – whose authority rests essentially on the dominance of ordained men – priests – the adopted perspective of gender history will make it possible to interrogate the social, religious and cultural results of the interactions between both individuals and institutions (religious orders, churches with their hierarchies, states, factions and/or political parties or trade unions). We will thus be able to highlight the challenges of participation and the scope for action of women and men holding very different positions of power. These differences stem from the fundamental dialectic already mentioned (men/women), but also from the social and cultural capital on which everyone (individuals and institutions) can draw. In any context of war and violence, the power games that regulate these relationships, as well as the agency of different historical actors, are obvious and provide new spaces for (re)negotiation.

These phenomena will be considered over a long-term perspective: from the expansion of Europe in the 15th century, with the development of Catholic métissage, to contemporary globalization. This chronology is marked by several turning points: the confessional fracture in Europe with its wars; the colonization of bodies and souls with its burden of violence; the era of the Revolutions when ideologies also clashed through armed struggle and war; the conflicts that accompanied the birth of nations in the 19th century; the experience of totalitarianisms that have run through the history of the 20th and 21st centuries, with different chronologies in different geographical areas; decolonization in its warlike manifestations and the ethnic conflicts of the post-colonial period.

We are calling for contributions dealing to specifical case studies concerning one of the following panel topics:

  1. Taking up arms as a religious men or women, willingly or unwillingly. Experiencing violence; obeying and disobeying as an individual and/or community.
  2. Gender and the ‘essentialization’ of war. Men and women in religion and the (re)negotiation of power and spaces of action in a context of war: taking up arms, healing; refusing, justifying or promoting violence.
  3. Spaces and warlike sociabilities. The role of religious men and women in the regulation of societies at war: camps, cities, rural spaces
  4. Writings in time of war.
    • Constructing models that support action: hagiographical discourses and public uses of history.
    • (Self-)Narrating: from collective narratives to ego-documents.
  5. Coping with the wounds of war: practices and discourses of religious men and women after conflicts.

Submission guidelines

Papers may be presented in French, Spanish, or English. Speakers should prepare a PowerPoint in a language other than the one they will be speaking in to facilitate discussion.

The proposals should be sent to religieux.sesenguerre@gmail.com

by 18th September 2022

They must indicate:

  • The provisional title of the paper.
  • An abstract of the of about 200 words.
  • A short bio mentioning the institutional affiliation of the researcher, as well as a list of her/his most relevant publications.

The list of selected papers will be announced on the 3rd October 2022.

The conference will take place between 31st May and 2nd June 2023 in Louvain-La-Neuve.

Scientific coordination

This international conference is organized by

  • Silvia Mostaccio (UCLouvain),
  • Jean-Pascal Gay (UCLouvain),
  • Monique Weis (Université du Luxembourg),
  • Alessandro Serra (Università di Perugia),
  • Achille Verschoren (UCLouvain).

Places

  • Université catholique de Louvain, place Blaise Pascal
    Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (1348)

Event attendance modalities

Full on-site event


Date(s)

  • Sunday, September 18, 2022

Keywords

  • fait guerrier, religieuse, religieux, genre, violence, fait religieux, christianisme

Contact(s)

  • Silvia Mostaccio
    courriel : silvia [dot] mostaccio [at] uclouvain [dot] be
  • Alessandro Serra
    courriel : alessandro [dot] serra [at] uniroma2 [dot] it

Information source

  • Alessandro Serra
    courriel : alessandro [dot] serra [at] uniroma2 [dot] it

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Regulars and Nuns at War », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, July 05, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/197l

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