The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience and the Department of Religion of Florida State University seek paper proposals for a two-day conference (November 30-December 1, 2012) in Tallahassee, Florida focusing on Religion and World War II. Conference organizers G. Kurt Piehler and John Corrigan seek papers that touch on the institutional, theological, and human impact of religion in World War II. We are interested in the global dimension of this conflict and encourage scholars whose work focuses on Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, and the Soviet Union, as well as Europe and North America. We are interested in addressing the ways that combatants and civilians drew upon religious ideals and institutions to sustain them in an age of total war, and especially how soldiers, sailors, and aviators behaved religiously in the course of their service. Additionally we solicit papers that consider the roles religious organizations and values played in fostering ethical conduct during the war, providing humanitarian relief, and protecting non-combatants and conscientious objectors, as well as analyses of various kinds of religious justifications for violence, including genocide. Among the questions we seek to address: did religious leaders and institutions foster a climate that encouraged rather than retarded the drift to total war? Are there really no atheists in foxholes? What was the legacy of the war for religious institutions and ideals, especially in the defeated Axis Powers? How did religious institutions discredited by their support of the Axis Powers seek to regain their legitimacy? What kinds of compromises did persons negotiate with their religious beliefs in wartime? In what way was pre-existent religious rhetoric deployed to characterize enemies as evil? How did the war diminish and exacerbate the perception of religious differences?
We encourage contributions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The conference organizers hope to provide travel funding to graduate students and junior scholars to encourage their participation. Plans call for the publication of an anthology drawn from the conference proceedings edited by John Corrigan and G. Kurt Piehler.
Those seeking to participate in the conference should submit a 750 word abstract along with a short 3-5 page c.v. via Microsoft word attachment or PDF File to G. Kurt Piehler at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15, 2012. For further information about the conference, please contact John Corrigan at email@example.com or G. Kurt Piehler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
G. Kurt Piehler
Institute on World War II and the Human Experience
Department of History
Florida State University
401 Bellamy Hall
113 Collegiate Loop
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2200
Telephone: (850) 644-9541
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