The Church and Law – Call for Papers

Proposals for 20 minute papers on the theme ‘The Church and Law’ should be submitted by 31 October 2018. Proposal forms can be found on the Ecclesiastical History Society’s website: https://www.history.ac.uk/ehsoc/ehs-conference-2018-19-church-and-law

This theme addresses the legal issues and legal consequences underlying relations between secular and religious authorities in the context of the Christian church, from its earliest emergence within Roman Palestine as a persecuted minority sect through to the period when it became legally recognised within the Roman empire, its many institutional manifestations in East and West throughout the middle ages, the reconfigurations associated with the Reformation and Counter- Reformation, the legal and constitutional complications (such as in Reformation England or Calvin’s Geneva), and the variable consequences of so-called secularisation thereafter. On many occasions in recent years, moreover, we have been confronted with contemporary discrepancies, contradictions, and even rejection of secular laws, modern social mores or social attitudes. What were the legal consequences and implications of the Reformation, (including the confiscation and restitution of property), of the French wars of religion; the French Revolution; the political transformations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? Are there particular influences on the formation of ecclesiastical law (the Bible, Roman law, national law codes)? The engagement of secular and religious authorities with the law and what that law actually comprised (Roman law, canon law, national laws, state and royal edicts) are further issues to be addressed. This is also a theme that requires the examination of the formation of bodies of law and how and why it became recognised as law. The formation of canon law is a case in point. There is also the problem of definition. How early, for example, can a ‘code of canon law’ be defined, and what are the processes by which opinion and conciliar decision became perceived as ‘law’? What light does the transmission and reception of ‘canon law’ throw on such questions?

Delegates are encouraged to range widely within the theme. Possible case studies might include:

–  court cases
–  ​legal challenges to authority
–  discussions of legal culture and legal practice
–  legally orchestrated clashes between secular and ecclesiastical law
–  legal documents of many kinds

Contact Email:

Barons and the Public Good in the Middle Ages (CFP)

University of East Anglia, Norwich, 3-4 April 2019

The traditional—and still popular—image of the ‘feudal’ political order of the Middle Ages is one of anarchic knights and overmighty barons pursuing selfish ends to the detriment of peace and justice.  Our teleological narrative thus explains the emergence of the modern state by the rise of centralised monarchies which abolished private conflict and introduced ‘commonweal’.  The medieval aristocracy, in this telling, is a negative force, a symptom of the collapse of the Roman imperium and an impediment to human flourishing.

However, recent work has questioned this characterisation of the baron’s role in government and the conception of public good, as well as the benevolence of centralised governments themselves.  Is the vilification of medieval lords not another case of history written by the victors?  ‘Noblesse oblige?’ intends to host a discussion and reevaluation of baronial government and aristocratic commitment to the common good in the Middle Ages.

The two-day conference will be held on the University of East Anglia campus in Norwich on the 3rd and 4th of April 2019, and will begin with a keynote address by Prof. Martin Aurell, director of the Centre d’Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale, Université de Poitiers, and author of many books on aristocratic culture.

Papers of twenty minutes in length are welcome from both emerging and established scholars of baronial political culture, with special reference to questions surrounding their ‘public’ role.  Examples within this theme might include the moral nature of a baro, connexions between the aristocracy and religious reform, images of good governance in vernacular texts, noble opposition to tyranny, or aristocratic women as channels for justice and mercy.  We aim to incorporate a broad chronological range of papers, and especially invite explorations of change over time.  We also welcome points of comparison with aristocratic political culture from outside Europe or Christendom.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to the conference organisers at noblesse.oblige.conference@gmail.com, along with the applicant’s name, affiliation (including independent scholar), and a 150-word biography.  We hope to have bursaries available to assist postgraduate, unwaged, and international participants.  The organisers eagerly look forward to receiving and reading all submissions. The deadline is October 31, 2018.

 

Contact Info:

Gregory Lippiatt and Richard Daines: noblesse.oblige.conference@gmail.com.

University of East Anglia

Norwich Research Park

Norwich

NR4 7TJ

England

Autumn Discourse 2018

The 2018  Annual General Meeting of the Society will take place at Trinity College Dublin on Friday 23 November.

This will be followed by the Presidential Address, delivered by the Hon. Sir Donnell Deeny.

Further details will be posted in due course.