Skip to content


Religious dialogue in the Early Modern World

Add to calendar 2023-05-23 09:00 2023-05-24 16:30 Europe/Rome Religious dialogue in the Early Modern World Sala degli Stemmi Villa Salviati - Castle YYYY-MM-DD


Tue 23 May 2023 09.00 - 17.00

Wed 24 May 2023 10.00 - 16.30


Sala degli Stemmi

Villa Salviati - Castle

Organised by

A workshop organised by the EUI History Department together with the University of Minnesota - College of Liberal Arts.

The early modern world was a place of intensified religious encounters. The religious reformations that originated in Central Europe and swept through the continent led to the fragmentation of Christendom, as a consequence of which early modern men and women began to view themselves and each other through a new confessional lens. The advancing globalisation further complicated the early modern religious landscapes by facilitating the Christians’ encounters with various, often unfamiliar, belief systems. These interactions sparked conflict as much as they prompted early modern men and women to devise ways to coexist. With the advent of Enlightenment this ability to tolerate other religious beliefs acquired ideological value: toleration came to be viewed as a virtue, a mark of a society’s advancement, and a distinctive achievement of the West.

In a way representative of this tradition, previous histories of toleration searched the premodern world for roots of the modern phenomena. In recent decades, however, scholars have challenged this myth of the rise of religious tolerance, by revealing that neither did the practices of toleration evolve in a progressive way, nor were they unique to the West. Toleration in the early modern world, as it is principally understood nowadays, was a practical solution, rather than an ideological position. But is possible to recalibrate this picture and reintegrate the ideological factors into our considerations of religious coexistence? After all, premodern societies, by and large, saw their communities as a sacred body; the practices of toleration were thus never fully divorced from individual and communal conceptions of piety. This workshop will explore these dynamics with fresh eyes by considering a variety of intellectual, social, cultural, artistic, and political efforts which aimed to foster peace, unity, and conciliation within and between religious groups.


Scientific Organiser(s):

Giancarlo Casale (EUI)


Miriam Felicia Curci

Go back to top of the page