Global Reformations: Transforming Early Modern Religions, Societies & Cultures

27-30 September 2017

An international and interdisciplinary conference hosted by 
The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies
Victoria College University of Toronto

The deadline for proposals has passed. 

For information 

What is Reformation, and where? Who does it impact, and how? This conference invites a sustained, comparative, and   interdisciplinary exploration of religious transformations in the early modern world. Scholars who once confidently framed the Reformation as a sixteenth-century European Protestant phenomenon now look expansively across different confessions, faiths, time periods, and geographical areas. We are particularly interested in exploring global developments and tracking the many ways in which Reformation movements, broadly conceived, shaped relations of Christians with other Christians, and also with Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, aboriginal groups, and animistic religions. How did interfaith and cross-confessional encounters shift under the impact of the religio-political changes that swept rapidly across Europe and beyond from the fifteenth into the eighteenth centuries? In particular, how did these dynamics redraw borders and overturn long-established institutions? How did they interrogate and overturn traditional definitions of centres and peripheries?

The early modern world saw a great increase in contacts between religious traditions and their believers. Many meetings were fraught with the tensions of alterity. All contacts generated new forms of accommodation, exclusion, communication, exchange, and transformation. Our interdisciplinary conference will explore the resulting cultural, historical, art historical, literary, and intellectual disruptions and convergences. We will probe the inter-actions that developed across confessional lines, and the unanticipated consequences that ripple out across the globe from the religious schisms in Europe. Many of these inter-faith contacts are driven by dynamics arising directly from the Reformation, and this is the theme we plan to explore in the conference.

We aim to bring together scholars researching art, architecture, theatre, music, literature, religion, book history, print culture, as well as intellectual and social history. Together we will explore how the transmission and translation of material, textual, and cultural practices create identity and cross-cultural identifications in contexts that are animated by the effort to reform, purify, or convert others.


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