01 June 2009

CFP: Normative Orders: Justification and Sanctions

Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" at the Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Germany, 24-25 October 2009

Call for papers: Conference for Young Academics "Normative Orders: Justification and Sanctions"

A conference outline (including a list of panels) can be found here:


The conference will include a panel "System of Rule and Religion: The Limited Impact of Sanctions and the Relevance of Political-Theological Narratives of Justification in the Foundation of Normative Orders in the Early Modern Period", which invites in particular contributions from historians of early modernity and people working on the history of political ideas.

Panel outline: Religion, and in particular the biblical text, was an important basis of the norms and values used both to legitimate systems of rule and to dispute claims to power in the early modern period. The "Bible as political argument" helped to justify and to deny (new) normative orders.

Within the historical framework of the debates in European estate assemblies in the early modern period, the hypothesis – which this panel will explore – is that sanctions played a lesser role in shaping and confirming normative orders than did political-theological language. Case studies aimed at testing this hypothesis – focusing on the sacral legitimation of power and the theological or natural law foundations of resistance to power – are welcomed.

Finally, the European panorama of conflicts within the estate assemblies leads to the more general question of whether and to what extent the issue of religion and politics can be approached with the categories of "sanctions" and/or "narratives of justification".

How to submit a paper: Each panel will have approximately four contributors. Young academics in the doctoral or post-doctoral phase of their career interested in contributing are invited to submit a 500-word abstract to the responsible panel chair (listed on the website with each panel's description). The deadline is 30 June 2009.

Travel grants: Travel and hotel expenses will be subsidized, although the precise level of subsidization remains to be determined.

A selection of papers will possibly be published.

Proposals for the political theology panel should be sent to Therese Schwager, who will also answer your questions: therese.schwager@normativeorders.net

For general questions on the conference, please contact: Nachwuchskonferenz@normativeorders.net

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