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Blasphemy in Europe from 1500

In modern Europe, religious-confessional differences and differences in worldview have not only been played out by means of physical forms of violence and protest, but also in verbal and visual forms. These semiotic strategies for negotiating difference included acts of blasphemy as well as heresy, sacrilege and witchcraft. The project, which is part of the Emmy Noether-Nachwuchsgruppe »Battles over Belief: Religion and Violence in Catholic Europe, 1848-1914« and was designed by Eveline G. Bouwers, investigates the history of blasphemy in Europe from 1500 until today. On the one hand, it probes the changed social significance and judicial status of blasphemy and links these changes to shifting social, cultural and political norms. On the other hand, by way of an interdisciplinary approach, it will be asked when blasphemy led to violence and whether it is even possible to view such ‘offences against God’ as a form of violence. The project takes the form of a source-based schoolbook (Sekundarstufe-II; 15-16 years old) that has been written and compiled by Eveline G. Bouwers in cooperation with Mariam Hammami, Carolin Katzer, Péter Techet und Sara Mehlmer. The book will be published by Wochenschau Verlag in 2017.