Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Reformation Era (Due April 15, 2016)

Beth Plummer's picture
Call for Papers
July 19, 2017 to July 21, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Early Modern History and Period Studies, German History / Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Jewish History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

Conference Description: The Verein für Reformationsgeschichte and the Society for Reformation Research invites paper proposals for their joint conference on the topic of “Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Reformation Era/Juden, Christen und Muslime im Zeitalter der Reformation” to be held at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, Germany, July 19-21, 2017.

The Reformation, as the communis opinio of research goes, emerged out of an internally pluralistic, medieval church that spawned a new plurality of early modern confessional churches in Europe. These developments were described in older research by negative terms such as “Schism” or “splintering,” and in more recent work using positive terms such as the “differentiation” and “diversification.” While the Reformation perhaps did not change so much the degree of religious plurality within Christianity, it certainly changed its form. Yet, religious pluralism certainly is and was not just an internal Christian issue. Christianity already was engaged in ongoing processes of exchange with, and differentiation from, other religions, especially the two other major world religions, Judaism and Islam.

The working hypothesis of this conference, jointly organized by the Verein für Reformationsgeschichte and the Society for Reformation Research to mark the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 2017, is that the establishment of internal distinctions within Christianity in the wake of the Reformation also altered the relationships and points of reference between Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The upcoming anniversary seems an auspicious moment, for both scholarly and political reasons, to undertake a closer examination of the topic of “Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the era of the Reformation.” In order to permit as inclusive and interdisciplinary a conversation as possible, researchers from diverse specializations and research interests related to this topic will be placed into direct conversation with one another. At the same time, the chronological scope of the “Age of Reformation” in Europe would be broadly conceived to include the entire sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The two central questions of the conference are: 1. How did the interactions and relationships of Christians, Jews, and Muslims change as a result of the Reformation? 2. How was the Reformation socially and discursively influenced by the religious pluralism that already existed with the presence of Judaism and Islam? These questions will be examined from a variety of different perspectives: by analyzing contemporary scholarly discourses, polemic and propaganda as well as social practices. The explorations of discursive strategies will be juxtaposed with an analysis of social integration and everyday coexistence. In this way, questions can be asked about the demarcation and transgression of boundaries, about interreligiosity and interculturalism, hybridity and appropriation processes, while at the same time considering the possibilities and limits of tolerance and religious pluralism in the early modern period.

Paper Proposals: Paper proposals, in German or English, for the conference should include a paper title, an abstract of approximately 200 words, the presenter’s name, affiliation, e-mail address, and brief CV. All papers will be approximately 20 minutes. All materials and any questions should be submitted to the joint VRG/SRR program committee:

Deadline: The deadline for submission is 15 April 2016. All scholars will be sent notification of whether their papers have been accepted by 1 June 2016.

For more information on the conference, including plenary speakers and conference leadership, please visit our website at

Contact Info: 

Beth Plummer
Recording Officer, Society for Reformation History
Professor of History, Western Kentucky University

Contact Email: