• Lyon

    Call for papers - Middle Ages

    Freedom of expression

    Islamic World, Byzantium and Western Europe. Religious Elites and their criticism of power

    The empires of the 8th Century (Western Europe, Byzantium, Islam) are governed in the name of religious principles and with the support of religious elites; however, these elites can criticize the political powers on behalf of their intellectual proficiency and religious responsibilities. This meeting aims the elucidation of political and religious conditions that allow, restrict and of course instrumentalize this freedom of speech. Actually, to let say may be the act of a prince who can allow criticism without being weakened, but rather reinforced by it. An intransigent prophet can use his freedom of expression – but as a courtier can. The examination of concrete means of expression of political criticism (treaties, letters, Mirrors, historiography, exegesis, sermons, hagiography etc.) must lead us to a rigorous comparative point of view: in these three areas, what are the differences in terms of freedom of criticism, its effectiveness and political use?

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