Ecclesiastical History Society Conference: The Church and Empire

26-28 July 2016 – University of Edinburgh
Plenary speakers:

Stuart Jay Brown (Edinburgh)
Gillian Clark (Bristol)
Ruth Macrides (Birmingham)
Ronnie Hsia (Penn State)



Deadline15 April

The conference will explore the relations of Churches and empires, and Christian conceptions of empire, in the ancient, medieval, early modern and modern periods, as well as the role of empire in the global expansion of Christianity.

Themes that could be explored in papers include:

  • The perceived implications of Christ’s birth under the Roman empire
  • The ‘establishment’ of Christianity under Constantine, the nature of the Christian Roman Empire, and the role of imperial power in defining Christian doctrine
  • Medieval conceptions of sovereignty and of the relations of spiritual and political power
  • The imperial authority of monarchs over their Churches in the Reformations
  • The effects of the Reformation on the structures of the Holy Roman Empire and vice versa
  • Christianity and non-Christian Empires, including the Ottoman Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Chinese Empire, the Aztec Empire and the Inca Empire
  • the role of Christianity in national liberation movements within the Napoleonic Empire, and within the European overseas empires
  • overseas missions and humanitarian campaigns to end slavery and safeguard the rights of subject peoples; the vital role of women in humanitarian critiques of empire
  • Christianity and twentieth- century non-Christian empires – the Soviet empire and the Nazi Third Reich

For further information and forms for proposing a paper: