Battles over Belief: Religion and Violence in Catholic Europe, 1848–1914
Welcome to the website of the Emmy Noether research group Battles over Belief. This project is the first attempt to systematically analyse the role that protest and violence played in shaping, structuring and overcoming conflicts surrounding religious culture and Church power in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Europe. It studies the motives and legitimation strategies for the use of crowd action and simultaneously probes opportunities to overcome physical conflict and the development of alternative ways to overcome conflict.
The project consists of three case-studies:
- Catholic crowd action: the violent protest over public religion in Europe, 1864–1914 (Dr. Eveline G. Bouwers)
- Between Brothers and Archenemies. Christian and Muslim border crossings in and around Spanish-Northern Africa (ca 1851–1869) (Sara Mehlmer - Staatsexamen)
- Inner-Catholic conflicts and anticlericalism in the context of Austrian-Hungarian and Croatian-Hungarian tensions in Trieste and Fiume/Rijeka, 1890-1910 (Péter Techet LL.M., M.A.)
In the links section you can find a more detailed project description and information about the German Research Foundation’s Emmy Noether Programme (as well as about the mathematician Emmy Noether!). Below you will find a summary of recent activities. For a more comprehensive overview, please consult the German version of the website.
Officially, the Emmy Noether research group seized to exist on 30 April 2019. Although we will continue to study the relationship between Catholics and violence in modern history, this website will no longer be updated on a regular basis. If you have any questions, please contact the groups’ principal investigator Dr. Eveline G. Bouwers.
NewsNew publication: »Glaubenskämpfe: Katholiken und Gewalt im 19. Jahrhundert« (Battles over Belief: Catholics and Violence in the Nineteenth Century) is now published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. The volume presents some of the results of the Emmy Noether research group and places these into a broader historical context that examines the changing relationship of faith and violence in the period spanning the French Revolution and First World War. Individual chapters analyse violent incidents pertaining to inner-Catholic, Catholic-secular, and interreligious conflicts as well as reveal the importance of rhetoric and symbolics for the outbreak and legitimation of said violence. With contributions by among others Eveline G. Bouwers (also editor), Sara Mehlmer und Péter Techet. The volume was also published in open access (see the English abstracts of all chapters)
Past eventsOn April 8th 2019, Péter Techet successfully defended his dissertation »Violence in the Church: Internal Catholic Conflicts in the Rural Hinterland of the Austro-Hungarian Coastal Region, 1890–1914«.
11-13 October 2018: Sara Mehlmer participates in the conference "Contact, Conquest, Colonization. Practices of Comparing between Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, from Antiquity to the Present", which takes placed at Bielefeld University. The conference is organized by the Research Cluster Practices of Comparing. Her lecture is titled "Spain and its North African 'Other' in the 19th Century. Ambivalent Practices of Comparing".
We are proud to announce the publication of »Gotteslästerung in Europa. Religionsvergehen und Religionskritik seit 1500« (engl. Blasphemy in Europe. Religious Offences and Religion Critique since 1500). Ranging from Sebastian Brant's »Narrenschyff« (1495) to contemporary debates on »Charlie Hebdo«, this book contains sources from across European history that have been especially prepared for German secondary education. More information (in German).
Higher Education in Danger: The Central European University, which has been founded in 1991, is a renowned international research institute. Its future is currently threatened by changes in the Hungarian Law on Higher Education. The organization of GRACEH has issued a statement in which it points at the difficulties faced by CEU and expresses its solidarity with staff and students. In a letter addressed to the Hungarian government, Prof. Johannes Paulmann, Director of the Leibniz Institute of European History, has equally pointed at the importance of the CEU for teaching and research. We fully support these statements.
On 9th and 10th May 2018, Sara Mehlmer participates in the international workshop »España y Marruecos. Guerra, convivencia y colonialismo en época contemporánea«, which is hosted by the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. She will give a talk on »Vidas fronterizas, conflicto y ‘convivencia’ en y alrededor de Ceuta y Melilla, c. 1859-1863«.
New publication: Peter Techet, Imperiale Loyalität unter den italienischsprachigen Katholiken in Triest der späten Habsburgermonarchie, in: Jana Osterkamp (ed.), »Kooperatives Imperium. Politische Zusammenarbeit in der späten Habsburgermonarchie« (Bad Wiesseer Tagungen des Collegium Carolinum - Band 39) (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2018) 297-314.
18 January 2017: Eveline Bouwers gives an invited lecture at the Central European University, Budapest (HU). The Title of her talk is Drawing Boundaries, Defending Spaces: Microperspectives from the European Culture Wars. More information
Publication of 'On Site, in Time': the Leibniz Institute of European History has published an online portal that presents the history of Europe by looking at local places, which can be considered exemplary for the changing ways in which Europeans have negotiated differences. With contributions by Eveline Bouwers on Oostakker (Belgium) and Péter Techet on Trieste (Italy).
12 September 2016: Péter Techet attends the conference 'Identities In-Between: East-Central Europe, c. 1900-present', which will takes place at Wolfson College, Oxford (UK). The topic of his talk is Italian Catholicism in the Austrian Littoral (Trieste and Istria) at the Beginning of the 20th Century: Sub-Cultural Position between Italian Nation/Culture, Austrian Loyalty and Catholic Religion. More information
22 June 2016: Péter Techet attends the conference 'The City and the Countryside. Transitions and Transfers in the 19th and First Half of the 20th Century', where he will deliber a talk on Fiume versus Drenova, 1908: A Case Study from the Austo-Hungarian Seacoast on National-Clerical Interpreted Rural Protests against Urban Policy. The conference is organized by the Institute for Lithuanian History (Vilnius), the Herder Institute (Marburg) and the North-East Institute (Lüneburg) and will take place in Vilnius (LTU).
1 April-30 June 2016: Belgian historian Jeffrey Tyssens (Brussels) is senior visiting fellow at the Leibniz Institute of European History. Jeffrey Tyssens is professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and a specialist in the history of liberalism, anticlericalism, education and freemasonry. The invitation was extended by among others the Emmy Noether research group.
10 February 2016: Eveline Bouwers speaks at Humboldt University Berlin (colloquium organized by Prof. Dr. Birgit Aschmann) on The "Violent Catholic": Between Cultural Phantasy and Political Reality in Nineteenth-Century Europe. More information
1 February 2016: Eveline Bouwers speaks at Frankfurt University (colloquium organized by Prof. Dr. Christoph Cornelissen & Prof. Dr. Andreas Fahrmeir) on History and Memory in the Clerical-Liberal Conflict in Europe, 1848-1914. More information
26 January 2016: Eveline Bouwers speaks at the University of Freiburg (colloquium organized by Prof. Dr. Jörn Leonhard) on Rituals of Religious Protest in Nineteenth-Century Europe.
10-11 December 2015: International workshop on Homelands and Hostlands: Political Mobilization among Migrant and Religious Communities in Europe and the Americas, 1848-1939. The workshop is organized by Dr. Eveline Bouwers in cooperation with Dr. Niall Whelehan (The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom). More information
3 November 2015, 19:00: Guest lecture by Elliot Horowitz (Oxford, United Kingdom) on Perpetual Hostility: Amalek as Ultimate Enemy for Early Modern Jews and Christians. This lecture is organized in cooperation with the Martin Buber Chair in Jewish Thought and Philosophy at Goethe University (Frankfurt) and the Jewish Museum (Frankfurt). Location: Goethe University (Frankfurt). More information
28 September-2 October 2015: Sara Mehlmer participates in the Maurice Halbwachs Summer Institute Emotion - Interaction - Violence of Georg August University Göttingen. More information
15 September 2015, 19:00: Guest lecture by historian Mary Vincent (Sheffield, United Kingdom) on Counterrevolution: the Nature of Franco's Crusade. This lecture is organized in cooperation with the history department (chair of Andreas Rödder) of Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz). More information
20-29 July 2015: Péter Techet participates in the Summer University Religious Violence in Global Perspective, organized by the Central European University, Budapest (Hungary). More information
23 June 2015, 19:00: Guest lecture by historian Philip Dwyer (Newcastle, Australia) on Religion, Violence and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. This lecture is organized in cooperation with the Institut Français in Mainz. Place: Institut Français, Schillerplatz 11 in Mainz. More information
3 June 2015, 09:15-13:45: Masterclass with Judith Pollmann on Acts of Oblivion, 1550-1850.
2 June 2015, 18:15: Guest lecture by historian Judith Pollmann (Leiden) on Remembering Iconoclasm in the Low Countries, 1566–2015. This lecture is organized in cooperation with the history department (chair of Matthias Schnettger) of Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz). More information
17 March 2015, 19:00: Guest lecture by former professor for Islamic Law and Middle Eastern Studies Ruud Peters on Islamic Thinking about Just War: the Doctrine of Jihad in History. This lecture is organized in cooperation with the department for oriental studies (chair of Hendrik Boeschoten) of Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz). More information
14 February-6 March 2015: Péter Techet is visiting researcher at the Austrian Historical Institute Rome.
1 February 2015: The position of Eveline Bouwers as associated fellow at the Catholic Documentation and Research Centre for Religion, Culture and Society (KADOC, Leuven) has been extended until 31 January 2017.
20 January 2015, 19:00: Guest lecture by theologian Heinz-Gerhard Justenhoven (ITF Hamburg) on Frieden durch Recht. Zur Grundstruktur der gegenwärtigen katholischen Friedenslehre. This lecture is organized in cooperation with the Erbacher Hof, Diocesan Academy of Mainz. Place: Haus am Dom, Mainz. More information
16 September 2014, 16:00: Guest lecture by historian Gregorio Alonso (Leeds) on Violent Anticlericalism and Secularization: the Spanish Case (c.1830-1909). More information