18 April 2017
Conference: Religious and ethnic diversity in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from a comparative perspective
Religious tolerance and its shortcomings in the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania remain a subject of intense scholarly investigation. Moreover, the relatively peaceful coexistence of various religious and ethnic groups in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth nourishes the imagination of journalists and politicians, though in the popular discourse and the official narratives the historical complexity of the matter all to often devolves into clichés. All in all, throughout the last five decades since the first publication of the highly inspiring yet also controversial Janusz Tazbir's book "The State Without Stakes" the topic of "Polish-Lithuanian tolerance" has become not only an academic, but also a public matter.
The numerous scholarly studies on the subject present various methodological approaches and refer to a wide range of sources. Most researches, however, focus on protestant communities; less attention has been devoted to the functions of the Orthodox, Greek–Catholic (Ruthenian), and Jewish communities in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Historians need to fill in those gaps in order to provide a fuller picture of this multireligious society.
The conference will provide a platform for a debate on the coexistence of different religious groups (Protestants, Orthodox, Greek – Catholic, Ruthenian, Jews, Tatars) in the Polish– Lithuanian Commonwealth. Its aim is to encourage comparative studies across the Central Eastern Europe in the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period and critically assess the existent methodologies and historiography. Hence, the conference will be divided into three sections:
- historiographical –providing a critical review of the existent historiography,
- methodological – focused on a revision of research methods in the field and proposing innovations,
- historical – devoted to current historical research on religious diversity in the late medieval and early modern Central Eastern Europe.
Venue: German Historical Institute in Warsaw, Aleje Ujazdowskie 39
Time: 19-21 June 2017
Source: German Historical Institute