Throughout Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, religion deeply influenced practices of, protests against, and debates about war. Religious difference frequently provoked medieval warfare, and was an important aspect of conflicts as diverse as the Islamic conquest of the Middle East and the Iberian peninsula, Charlemagne’s campaigns against the Saxons, and the Crusades. Religion could also spark violence and conflict on a local level: the medieval church’s fight to define and ensure orthodoxy often led to the violent suppression of supposedly heretical religious groups, while many medieval communities participated in horrific persecutions of religious minorities in their midst. Some saints, popes, and clerics instigated and directed war to further their religious and political ambitions, while many others tried to control violent conflict and promote peace. Religion’s influence on warfare also extended to academic debate and medieval literature. Theologians, exegetes, and religious writers strove to conceptualize war and peace in Christian and historical terms, and religious concerns saturated many academic and social debates over the nature, place, and utility of armed conflict in medieval Christendom.
How did religion influence the outbreak, practice, containment, and conceptualization of war in the Middle Ages? Conversely, how did war and peace – real and imagined – shape medieval religion? We invite the submission of proposals from a variety of disciplines, time periods, geographies, source materials, and methodological approaches. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:
In order to support participation by speakers from outside the northeastern United States, we are offering a limited number of modest subsidies to help offset the cost of travel to Princeton. Financial assistance may not be available for every participant; funding priority goes to those who have the farthest to travel. Every speaker will have the option of staying with a resident graduate student as an alternative to paying for a hotel room.
Interested graduate students should submit abstracts of no more than 500 words to Molly Lester and Leah Klement (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 31st, 2013.
All applicants will be notified by February 10th, 2013. Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes.