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Religion and War from Antiquity to early Modernity: Historical Varieties of a Recurring Nexus - 24-25/06/2019, London (England)






With wide geographic coverage encompassing the Mediterranean basin, Near East, North Africa, and Europe, and taking Classical Antiquity as a starting point, but looking as far back as the second millennium BCE and forward to the Westphalian settlement of 1648, this conference will be a comparative and cross-cultural exploration of the persistent question about the role of religion in motivating, guiding, and explaining the causes and conduct of war.  

FECHA/ DATE/DATA: 24-25/06/2019


LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO:  King´s College London (London, England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Irene Polinskaya;  Alan James; Hans van Wees




INSCRIPCIÓN/REGISTRATION/REGISTRAZIONE:  Aquí/here/qui   Gratis/free/gratuito 


PROGRAMA/PROGRAM/PROGRAMMA:  Aquí/here/qui   Abstracts


MONDAY, June 24


9:30-10:00       Registration


10:00-10:10     Introduction 1: Our questions and aims: Irene Polinskaya and Alan James


10:10-10:30     Introduction 2: Modern context

                          WHETHAM, David (King’s College London)

                               Professional Military Education in the Modern World: The Role and Influence of Religion


10:30-11:30     Session 1: Near East

                         RICHARDSON, Seth (Oriental Institute, Chicago)


                              "The Plans of the Gods are Destroyed”:  Babylonian Scribal Views of War and the Gods

                         WANG, Xianhua (Shanghai International Studies University)

                              The Holy War of Eannatum in Light of the Early Dynastic Central Babylonian Tradition


11:30-11:45     Coffee Break


11:45-12:45     Session 2: Near East

                          NEBIOLO, Francesca (ATER at Collège de France)


                              Gods Bless War! Oath and Perjury in the Mesopotamian Perception of War

                          GILAN, Amir (Tel Aviv University)

                               Religion and War in Hittite Anatolia


12:45-14:00     Lunch


14:00:15:00     Session 3: Near East

                          ZAIA, Shana (University of Vienna)

                               The Gods Who March Alongside Me: Religion and War in the Neo-Assyrian Empire

                          ALLEN, Lindsay (King's College London)

                               TBC (Persia)


15:00-15:15     Coffee Break


15:15-16:15     Session 4: Egypt

                         SPALINGER, Anthony (The University of Auckland)

                               Pharaoh and God before and during Battle: Three Cases from the Egyptian New Late Period

                         ALLON, Niv (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

                              War and Order in New Kingdom Egypt (1550-1070 B.C.)


16:15-16:30     Coffee Break



16:30-17:30     Session 5: Near East

                         BACHVAROVA, Mary (Willamette University)


                              God as Judge: The Interlocking Hittite Genres of Treaty, Prayer, and Historiography and their Nachleben                                 in the Hebrew Bible

                         ZUCCONI, Laura (Stockton University)

                         Their Seed is No More: Rhetorical Strategies of Genocide in Ancient Egypt and the Bible


18:00-19:00     Keynote address

                          MORRIS, Ian (Stanford University)

                               Violence, Great Men, and the Gods: Religious and Military Sources of Social Power, 10,000 BC-AD 2019


19:00-20:00     Reception


TUESDAY, June 25


09:30-09:45     Coffee


09:45-10:45     Session 6: Near East V: Biblical Studies

                          NEVADER, Madhavi (University of St. Andrews) and MEIN, Andrew (Durham University)


                               Religion and War, War and Religion: Jerusalem 586 as Test

                          WAZANA, Nili (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

                               Biblical "Laws of War": A View of War from the Side of the Vanquished


10:45-11:00     Coffee Break


11:00-12:30     Session 7: Greece

                          VAN WEES, Hans (University College London)


                               Genocidal Gods in Archaic Greece

                          POLINSKAYA, Irene (King's College London)

                               Divine Support and Religious Motivation in Greek Wars of the Classical Period

                          FRANCHI, Elena (University of Trento)

                               Sacred Topography and War Memories in Ancient Greece


12:30-13:30     Lunch


13:30-14:30     Session 8: Rome

                          CIANO, Nunzia (Universita degli studi Roma Tre)

                               Religion, Civil War, and the Power of Word in Cicero's Speeches

                          BERTHELET, Yann (Liège Université)

                               Military auspices of the Roman generals at the end of the Republic


14:30-14:45     Coffee Break


14:45-15:45     Session 9: Rome

                           LENNON, Jack (University of Leicester)

                                The Greatest Impiety’: Pollution and Divine Anger in Rome’s Civil Wars

                           KOLBECK, Benjamin (King's College London)

                                The Early Church and War: The Evidence of Tertullian


15:45-16:00     Coffee Break


16:00-17:30     Session 10: Late Antiquity and Middle Ages

                          PAPADOGIANNAKIS, Ioannis (King's College London)


                          STOYANOV, Yuri (SOAS, London)

                               The Religious Dimension of the “Last Great War of Antiquity” (603-628) and its Medieval Legacies

                          STOURAITIS, Yannis (The University of Edinburgh)

                                Fighting Against Their Own Kind: War Against Christians in Byzantine Thought


17:30-19:00     Drinks

19:00-21:00     Dinner for speakers





9:15-9:30         Coffee


9:30-11:00       Session 11: Middle Ages

                         PLESHAK, Daniil (State University of St. Petersburg)

                              The Virgin Who Gave Birth to Victory: Divine Help to Besieged Cities during Avar-Byzantine Wars

                         MARIC, Ivan (The University of Edinburgh)

                              The Effects of the Arab Siege of Constantinople 717-8 on Byzantine Ideology and Muslim-Christian                                         Polemic

                         FERNÁNDEZ-SANTOS, Jorge (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid)

                              Queen Regnant and Holy War: Rearguard Female Crusader Isabel I of Castile


11:00-11:15     Coffee Break


11:15-12:15     Session 12: Middles Ages

                          BENNISON, Amira (Department of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge)

                               The Religious Ideology of the Almohads and Their Imperial Conquests in the Twelfth-Century Maghreb

                          NEGGAZ, Nassima (Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford)

                               The Role of Religion in the Mongol Conquest of Baghdad in 1258


12:15-13:00     Lunch


13:00-14:30     Session 13: Early Modern

                          HONIG, Jan Willem (King's College London)

                               Divine Judgement, Battle and Strategy in the Early Part of the Hundred Years’ War

                          ROBERTS, Penny (Warwick University)

                               God’s Warriors in the Most Christian Kingdom: a Reconsideration of the French Religious Wars

                           BJÖRKLUND, Jaakko (University of Helsinki)

                                Huguenots in the Baltics: religion, identity and service of French mercenaries in the Swedish

                               army 1605 – 1614


14:30-14:45     Coffee Break


14:45-15:45     Session 14: Early Modern

                           RYRIE, Alec (Durham University)

                               Was Religious War a Secularising Force in the Reformation Era?

                           JAMES, Alan (King's College London)

                               Cardinal-Ministers and Warrior Priests: Religion and the Making of the Westphalian World Order


15:45-16:15      Concluding discussion


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