CFP: The People all Changed: Religion and Society in Britain During the 1650s

University of Portsmouth, 15-16 July 2016

The changes which resulted from the British Civil Wars are often seen as the first modern revolution.  The establishment  of a radical protestant regime in 1645, and of the English republic in 1649, were accompanied by profound alterations to the religious, social, cultural, political, financial and legal landscape.   New patterns of consumption and socialisation emerged, along with the first stirrings of a scientific culture.   Some embraced change, in Milton’s words, ‘musing, searching, revolving new notions … trying all things.’  Others were horrified, experiencing these as times of ‘distractions’, madness and trouble, a ‘World Turned Upside Down’.

Historians continue to debate the extent of the social disruption which resulted, and the success or failure of Godly religion.  Yet in general, the consequences and personal experiences of the years which followed the first Civil war are significantly under-researched compared to its causes, due in part to the singular nature of the sources available for the years between 1645 and 1660.  The aim of this conference is to encourage contributions to redress this balance, particularly in relation to social, religious and cultural change (or lack of it) and the general impact on everyday life and on individual experience.

The conference is sponsored by funding from the British Academy.  Confirmed keynote speakers are Professor Bernard Capp (University of Warwick) and Dr Angela McShane (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Call for Papers

The conference is open to scholars at all academic stages, postgraduate to professor.  The intention is to have a wide thematic remit within the broad theme of society and religion during the stated period.  Delegates are invited to submit abstracts on all aspects of this theme, including but not restricted to:

  • Religious practice including: parish religion; separatism; loyalist religion and resistance to religious change; personal religious experience
  • Social and economic structure and change
  • Material Culture
  • Personal accounts of this period in diaries, memoirs and correspondence
  • Popular and elite cultures; relations between rich and poor
  • Printed and oral cultures
  • Military and civil culture and society
  • Subcultures and cultural conflict
  • Urban and rural society
  • Pastimes, sports and recreations
  • Sociability and the reformation of manners
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Family and household
  • Childhood, youth, education and literacy
  • Criminality and the legal process
  • Patterns of consumption and commerce
  • Agriculture and industry
  • Science and medicine
  • Superstition and magic
  • Food and drink

Please submit proposals of 250-300 words for papers of no more than 20 minutes to Dr Fiona McCall by 30 April 2016.

CFP: Nicholas of Cusa and Early Modern Religion

Graduate students and seasoned scholars are invited to submit abstract proposals for the panel “Nicholas of Cusa and Early Modern Religion” to be hosted at the annual Eastern International Meeting of the AAR, May 1-2, 2015, at McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada.

Since the 1930s a wealth of scholarly material has appeared describing the profound insights of Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) and his influence on modern philosophy, science, and other disciplines. Once described as “the first modern thinker” because of his speculations on the independence of the human intellect and his proto-Copernican astronomical conclusions, Cusa’s influence in the early modern period has yet to be completely mapped.

This panel seeks to address Cusa’s impact, whether directly or indirectly, on early modern religion. Cusa was well known in the 16th and 17th centuries as an expounder of “learned ignorance” and as a reformminded cleric, yet little scholarly attention has been given to the appropriation of Cusan thought among theologians, clerics, and lay devotees during this period. Presentations will be considered for publication within a volume on the same theme, which is currently under review with Brill.

Acceptable topics for this panel may include (but are not limited to) the following in relation to the impact of Nicholas of Cusa’s thought in the early modern period (16th – 17th centuries):

  • The interplay between the sacred and the secular
  • The spiritual senses
  • The hermeneutics of religion
  • Philosophical implications of religion
  • Devotional texts, songs, images, practices
  • Cultural repertoires of devotion and desire
  • Languages of mystical experience
  • The psychology of desire and devotion

Proposals should contain the following in a single e-mail attachment in MS Word format:
1. One-page abstract (300 words maximum)
2. Current CV
3. Cover page that includes the submitter’s full name, title, institution, phone number, and primary email.

If you are interested in presenting a paper on this panel, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words by Feb. 12, 2015. Also include any audio-visual equipment you may require. Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in length.

Email abstracts or further inquiries to the panel organizer Eric Parker:

This panel is sponsored by the Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR) at McGill University