Newsletter n. 3 – July 2014


To all researchers interested in the history of Early Modern European Religious Dissents and Radicalism, dear members of EMoDiR,

EMoDiR (Early Modern religious Dissents and Radicalism) is an international research network devoted to understanding religious dissent in Europe. It is committed to gathering together a variety of research projects on early modern religious culture which, given its multifaceted nature, is conceived as a dynamic system. Based on a detailed investigation that transcends traditional historiographical boundaries (notably national and/or confessional), we wish to examine the discursive constructions and the socio-cultural practices of religious dissent. The declared aims of EMoDiR are the promotion of national and international research projects; organising seminars, meetings, conferences and workshops; publication of its own activities; supporting interdisciplinary and international collaboration; disseminating research carried out by the group; establishing research networks and scientific exchanges. We send a monthly newsletter with information on research activities, conference participation, workshops, recent publications on the subject of early modern religious dissents and radicalism. Even if we privilege activities organised by the members of the network themselves we also try to include other relevant notices. Please do not hesitate to let us know if there are any activities you organise or you come to know about that you wish to circulate among the members of EMoDiR and others who might be interested.

Members of the Scientific Advisory Board: Alessandro Arcangeli, Federico Barbierato (coordinator of Executive Committee), Emese Balint, Daniela Solfaroli Camillocci, Jean-Pierre Cavaillé, Bernard Cooperman, Pierre-Antoine Fabre, Nicolas Fornerod, Ariel Hessayon, Sophie Houdard, Mario Infelise, Adelisa Malena (secretary), Anne Page, Chiara Petrolini, Philip Soergel, Xenia von Tippelskirch (chair of Scientific Advisory Board), Anne-Charlott Trepp, Stefano Villani.

For further information: www.emodir.net

You will find the following sections in the newsletter: 

1. Information about the research group, new members etc.

2. Recent activities, recent publications 3. Upcoming events, CFPs, conference announcements etc.


1. The Research Group

1.1. Institutional partners of the network are EHESS, Paris; CRH, Centre de Recherches Historiques; Ruhruniversität Bochum, Historisches Institut; Università di Venezia, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici; Università di Verona, Dipartimento Tempo, Spazio, Immagine e Società – TeSIS; University of Maryland, College Park, Department of History; University of Geneve – Institute d'Histoire de la Réformation (IHR) and Lerma – Laboratoire d'Études et de Recherches sur le Monde Anglophone, Aix-Marseille University

1.2. New members: It is with great pleasure that we greet two new individual members who joined the group during the last month. Audrey Duru and Martine Hardy

Individual researchers can join EMoDiR at the invitation of the scientific advisory board, or can apply by themselves to the scientific advisory board by submitting a curriculum vitae and a list of selected publications to Federico Barbierato, Adelisa Malena, or Xenia von Tippelskirch.


2. Recent scientific activities

2.1. Recent Conference

26-28 June 2014, Goldsmiths, University of London. Revisiting Early Modern Prophecies (c.1500-c.1815). Conference organized by Ariel Hessayon and Lionel Laborie (in collaboration with EMoDiR)

2.2. Publications

The Archives de sciences sociales des religions is dedicating the upcoming issue to Leszek Kołakowski: Dissidences. Jalons dans l’œuvre de Leszek Kołakowski (1927-2009), «ASSR», 166 (2014). Dossier coordonné par Alain Cantillon et Sophie Houdard, avec des contributions de Frédérique Matonti, Alain Cantillon, François Trémolières, Benjamin Fabre, Dinah Ribard, Sophie Houdard, Jean-Pierre Cavaillé, Jacques Le Brun, Xenia von Tippelskirch, Paul Zawadzki.

Wolfgang Breul, Stefania Salvadori (eds.): Geschlechtlichkeit und Ehe im Pietismus, Leipzig 2014 (Edition Pietismustexte, 5)

Jonathan I. Israel, Martin Mulsow (eds.): Radikalaufklärung, Berlin 2014.

Please send notice of any relevant publication you would like to see notified in the next newsletter to the following email-address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


3. Upcoming scientific activities


3.1. CFPs

31 July 2014 submission deadline for Christian Prophecies as a Reflex to Competing Concepts of Order (ca. 1500-1800), conference organized by Renate Dürr / Fabian Fechner / Susanne Junk, April 8 – April 10, 2015; Eberhard Karls Universitaet Tuebingen (Germany). Languages: English, Spanish, German.

Numerous cases of early modern prophecies are strongly bound in certain research traditions, e. g. national and religious contexts, or the interpretation as religious or social deviation. For the planned conference, main discussion topics are concrete case studies of early modern prophecies from a broad range of cultural, political, social, and religious backgrounds. There are no geographical limits for the provenance of the case studies; they can have their origin in Europe, the New World, or anywhere else. Thus, we will be able to compare a wider and more diverse range of these case studies and specific aspects of the prophecies. Prophecy is in this context defined as a discussed “divine” revelation to an individual which is linked with concrete instructions and which is addressed to a certain parish, the church as a whole, Christendom, or mankind. Prophecies are more than textual phenomena or rhetorical camouflage. They can rather be seen as a possibility to understand concepts of social order: Whereas one group of individuals could accept the present social order as a divinely ordained system, another group could perceive the divine will to change this very order and propose an alternative, new social order. The competition of diverging concepts of order made it necessary for each group to justify their own analysis of the status quo as the “correct” perception of the current order on earth and of the normative and divine conception of order. In these situations, implicit assumptions and unreflected practices were expressed, reflected, and actualized on a performative level. Potential prophecies were, however, examined by specific institutions or individuals. In formal proceedings it was discussed whether a case was based on a divine revelation or not. Thus, in a way, ‘real’ prophecies were generated by a process of examination. In the analysis and contextualization of each prophecy case study, the following main aspects should be discussed: 1. To which concepts of order does the prophecy refer? Here, apocalyptic concepts as an offered interpretation of social order are especially of importance, expressed in the diagnosis of the status quo and in an alternative order. Which time concepts are expressed in this context? 2. Which institutions or authorities examined the prophets and prophetesses? In this way, the social relevance of the prophecies could be explained. By considering which other types of offences also fell under the cognizance of the institutions concerned, one can reconstruct the social category and context of the phenomenon of prophecy and of the prophetic texts. Whether these authorities at the same time interpreted prophecies for their own needs could be checked. 3. Which arguments are raised in debates on a concrete prophecy case? The prophet’s threat can claim evidence through authentication strategies. The so-called “discernment of spirits” (discretion spirituum), for instance, could be based on empirical methods as well as emotions, and could moreover refer to specific bodies of knowledge. A Prophet was not judged immediately, but only after a discussion between different interest groups.

Please send a proposal (max. 2 pages), along with a short CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by July 31, 2014

1 September 2015 submission deadline for Displacement, Transgression and Dissent in France, Great Britain and the American Colonies (c.1600-1800). A young researchers’ conference organized by Anne Dunan-Page, Stéphane Lojkine, Jean Viviès, Aix-Marseille University, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 March 2015

15 september 2014 submission deadline for The Spiritual Geopolitics of the Early Modern World (1500-1800) conference organized by Lauric Henneton (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines), Susanne Lachenicht (Universität Bayreuth, Germany), Owen Stanwood (Boston College, USA) Laurent Veyssière (Ministère de la Défense, France) at Vincennes/Paris, Château de Vincennes, 13.3.2015


 3.2. Upcoming events

16-19 October 2014, New Orleans, EMoDiR-Panel at the Sixteenth Century Society Conference: Sex, Food, Religious Identity: Defining Social Boundaries in Early Modern Europe with the participation of Bernard Cooperman, Federico Barbierato, Tamar Herzig, Philip Soergel.

26-29 November 2014, Menaggio, Atelier trilatéral «Villa Vigoni»: Les dissidences religieuses en Europe à l’époque moderne : des constructions en mouvement (liens, langages, objets) coordonné par Adelisa Malena, Sophie Houdard et Xenia von Tippelskirch. 


Postal address: Research Group in Early Modern Religious Dissents & Radicalism (EMoDiR) c/o Federico Barbierato, Dipartimento Tempo, Spazio, Immagine e Società (TeSIS), Università di Verona, Via San Francesco, 22, I-37129 Verona. Fax. 00390458028141

Listowner: Xenia von Tippelskirch, Humboldtuniversität, Berlin.

Please do not hesitate to let us know any relevant information you want to circulate: xenia.vontippelskirch@hu-berlin.de 

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