‘National worship in international perspective’ is an international and interdisciplinary conference to be held in Durham (UK), 10-12 April 2010. Many early modern and modern governments ordered occasions of special worship (prayers, fasts and thanksgivings) in periods of great crisis or unexpected prosperity, or to mark calamities or victories. As a growing number of studies has indicated, these occasions offer great insights into government and ecclesiastical policies, the communication of official religious interpretations, conceptions of identity and popular belief, but also religious and political dissent. Such special worship has considerable interest for religious, political, cultural and intellectual historians, and scholars in theology, literature, sociology and anthropology.
This conference will bring together experts on these occasions of special state-ordered worship in different countries and different periods, in order to explore similarities and contrasts and to develop new interdisciplinary approaches. Confirmed speakers include Nigel Aston (France), Toby Barnard (Ireland), Richard Carwardine (USA), Simon Dixon (Russia), Anthony Milton (England) and Peter van Rooden (Netherlands). Proposals for further papers (20 minutes) are invited from scholars in any discipline.
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