CFP: Religions Special Issue "Interfaith Encounters: Religious Polemics from the Middle Ages to the Modern Period"

Golda Akhiezer Discussion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Religious polemics are a multifaceted phenomenon which can be defined as a discursive conflict, or a tool for discovering and disseminating “the truth,” motivated by a sense of mission. Their typology can be classified into strategies, methods, or arguments. A religious polemic manifests itself in literature intended for internal use or addressed to dispute opponents. It often includes the coercion of the opposite side to participate in public disputation, frequently ending in forced conversion, as we have encountered in medieval Christian–Jewish polemics. There are also examples of the voluntary participation of Jews, Muslims, and various Christian denominations in religious disputations, as in the case of radical Protestants in Poland. Religious polemics have been studied as part of research in theology, philosophy, sociology of religion, and history, with a focus on case studies and specific disputations or varieties of polemics.

This Special Issue is aimed at exploring religious polemics from the phenomenological standpoint, seeking to deepen our understanding of religious polemics in a wide cultural, historical, and social context. The articles will deal with a variety of religious polemics between monotheistic religions, sects, and denominations, as well as with polytheistic involvement in religious polemics. The chronological frame of the articles will encompass the early Middle Ages through to the 19th century. Articles presenting new methodological or comparative perspectives will be especially welcome. 

Scholars are invited to submit essays on specific and general topics:

  • Public disputation as social practice, its strategies, tactics, and tools; its role in the phenomenon of conversion;
  • The typology of the polemics’ argumentation (e.g., exegetical, philosophical, or historical);
  • Dynamics and changes in religious polemics through the lens of history;
  • Polemical literature: authors, aims, and target audiences;
  • Constructing the “religious other” through religious polemics;
  • Research on religious polemics—new perspectives and methodologies.

Proposed deadlines:

  • Abstract (about 200 words) submission deadline: 10 July 2023.

The abstracts are to be sent to the issue Editor, Professor Golda Akhiezer  or to the Religions Editorial Office

  • Notification of abstract acceptance: 3 September 2023
  • Full manuscript deadline: 29 February 2024

Dr. Golda Akhiezer
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.