Thirteenth Annual REFORC Conference on Early Modern Christianity

The Thirteenth Annual REFORC Conference on Early Modern Christianity, hosted by the Fondazione per le scienze religiose Giovanni XXIII, will be held May 14-16, 2024 in Palermo.

Topic Plenary Speakers

Early Modern Encounters. Religions, Cultures and Societies

Alongside the historical narratives of Konfessionalisierung and Sozialdisziplinierung in the early modern Euro-Mediterranean space – highlighting clashes, tensions and the ossification of the boundaries between the religious confessions that sprang up in the wake of the Reformation – the reality of a variegated pluralism engendered by the cohabitation (albeit not always peaceful) and the cross-fertilisation of different Christian traditions, as well as the complex encounter of Christians, Jews, and Muslims at a religious, cultural, intellectual, and social level should be duly taken into account. In addition to the Mediterranean space, the area of interest of such transcultural and religious encounters – both inter- and intraconfessional – and spans from continental Europe to the Balkans, the Baltic, Scandinavia, the Eastern Orthodox space (including the Polish-Ukrainian space), and the Armenian, Syriac, and Coptic traditions. What were the different conceptual frameworks within which the encounter with Otherness took place in Europe? How can the fall of Granada and the persecution of Jews and Muslims be placed alongside the long-standing diversity of ethnicity and faith in Vilnius? How (if at all) was the concept of tolerance implemented in, and adapted to, different geographical and cultural contexts as well as to political contingency, from the treatment of conversos in Sicily, to the Jewish ghettoes in Venice and Rome, to the wintering of the Ottoman fleet in Toulon in 1543-44? How did the growing diplomatic relations between East and West help the cross-fertilisation of knowledge between Muslim and Christian scholars and fostered the growth of early modern Western orientalism? How did arts reflect on these encounters or acted as actors in these transconfessional and transcultural negotiations?

The international conference aims at problematising religious encounters and the issues of religious diversity in the early modern period with an interdisciplinary and transcultural perspective.

Short Papers, Panels, and General Attendance

The (in-person) conference is open to individual short paper presentations (20 minute presentations) and to thematic sessions of two or three short papers. Papers can focus on all disciplines related to Early Modern Christianity, ca. 1400-1700, such as philosophy, law, history, theology, etc., independent of the theme of the plenary papers.

In case of a thematic session (panel) all panelists must register separately, indicating the panel in the registration form.

It is also possible to attend the conference without giving a paper. In that case, go to the registration form and register for the conference, indicating that you do not want to submit a short paper proposal.

Short Paper Submission and Registration

Short paper submission is closed. You can still register as a participant.

Registration/Registration Fee

Registration becomes effective on receipt of payment of the registration fee. If your short paper proposal has been accepted, please see to it that the amount of the registration fee is on our account before March 15, 2024, so that we can include your paper in the program. Registration closes on May 10, 2024.

REFORC Members (Individual and Institutional) will receive a discount on the registration fee, as indicated in the registration form. Go here for the benefits for Individual REFORC Members and here for the benefits for Institutional REFORC Members.

The registration fee includes attendance of all sessions, coffee breaks, reception, and the concert. All other costs, like for lunches, dinners, travel, and accommodation are not included.


Short paper submission: March 15, 2024 (extended deadline).
Registration: May 10, 2024.


Preferred language for papers is English, but papers in  French and German are also welcome. Presenters who prefer to give their paper in French or German are invited to provide the audience with an English summary of about 150-200 words.

Conference Proceedings

The conference volume will be published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in the series Refo500 Academic Studies (R5AS) and will contain plenary papers and a selection of short papers. Another publication venue is the Journal of Early Modern Christianity (JEMC).

Manuscripts for the conference volume can be submitted to the editors (to be announced). All other manuscripts can be submitted to editor-in-chief of the JEMC, Wim François.

Editors will decide on publication.

Scientific Committee

Fabrizio D’Avenia (University of Palermo)
Gianmarco Braghi (University of Palermo | FSCIRE)
Antonio Carluccio (DREST | University of Calabria | FSCIRE)
Davide Dainese (University of Bologna | FSCIRE)
Giacomo Favaretto (DREST | University of Palermo | FSCIRE)
Ivana Panzeca (University of Palermo | FSCIRE)
Laura Righi (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | FSCIRE)
Herman Selderhuis (Theological University of Apeldoorn)


Visual: Matthias Grünewald: Meeting of St Erasm and St Maurice, ca. 1520–ca. 1524, collection Alte Pinakothek, Munich. From Wikimedia Commons


FSCIRE – Fondazione per le scienze religiose “Giovanni XXIII”
Fondazione per le scienze religiose (FSCIRE), Biblioteca “Giorgio La Pira”, Via degli Schioppettieri 25, 90133 Palermo (Italy)

All the conference sessions (keynote lectures, short paper sessions, roundtable etc.) as well as the book fair will be held at the address of the “Giorgio La Pira” Library as indicated below. Keynote lectures are all held in the “Monumental Theatre” at the second floor of the library. The venue is right in the city center of Palermo, directly behind the Fontana Pretoria (Praetorian Fountain). However, you cannot access the building there, the entrance is on the back side of the building in the Via degli Schioppettieri, 25.

Fondazione per le scienze religiose (FSCIRE)
“Giorgio La Pira” Library
Via degli Schioppettieri, 25
90133 Palermo (Italy)

The venue (the new building of the “Giorgio La Pira” Library) is a historical building which is only partly accessible to wheelchairs. There is a functioning wheelchair platform in the main entrance, leading to a number of rooms on the ground floor. All other rooms are on higher floors and can only be reached by stairs. If you need any assistance accessing rooms, please let us know beforehand by sending us an email.

Onsite registration opens on 14 May at 09:00 at the “Giorgio La Pira” Library. Although onsite registration during the three days is always possible for those who have registered online and paid the registration fee, it is highly recommended to register onsite before the conference starts. Upon registration you will receive a printed program and your name badge. Please note that you must wear this badge all the time throughout the conference.

REFORC Institutional/Individual Member: € 105,00.
Non-REFORC Member or REFORC Societal Member: € 180,00.
Student, REFORC Institutional/Individual Member: € 85,00.
Student, Non-REFORC Member or REFORC Societal Member: € 145,00.
Spouse/partner: € 90,00.

Short paper submission: March 15, 2024 (extended deadline).

Registration: May 10, 2024.


If you travel by plane to Palermo Airport (PMO), which is ca. 30 km outside of Palermo, you have several options to get to the city:

  • TAXI SHARING: Leaving the airport, you will find the taxi sharing service on the right side. By sharing the journey with other passengers, you can easily reach the centre of Palermo at a low price (€10) in about half an hour. Ask to get off at the ‘Politeama’ stop. Payment is required in cash.
  • SHUTTLE PRESTIA E COMANDÉ: You can choose to use the shuttle service of “Prestia and Comandé” company. Leaving the airport, you will find the stop on the right side, beyond the taxi-sharing stop. Buses leave every half hour and in about 45 minutes you will arrive at the ‘Politeama’ stop. The cost of the ticket is € 6.50. You can pay by card on board.
  • TRAIN: Without leaving the airport, you can reach the train station downstairs. Get off at the ‘Palermo centrale’ station and you will be a 5-minute walk from the centre. You can buy your ticket at the automatic machines in the station, at the ticket office or via Trenitalia app. The price of the ticket is € 6.80 and the journey takes 40 minutes to an hour.



If you travel by plane to Trapani Airport (TPS) you can reach Palermo city center throught “Salemi” shuttle company. Here you can download the table with the bus departure times.

In one hour and forty-five minutes the bus will take you to the Palermo central station, close to the conference venue.



If you travel by plane to Catania Airport (CTA) you can reach Palermo throught “SAIS” shuttle company. Here you can check the table with the shuttle departure times and buy your ticket.

The price of the ticket is €14,00 and in two hours and a half the bus will take you to the Palermo central station, close to the conference venue.

In the centre of Palermo you can find many hotels and B&B for your stay. We recommend some of them close to the conference venue.

Refunds will be made for written cancellations received before March 1, 2024 less a € 30.00 processing fee. After March 1, 2024, no refunds will be made.

The room where the plenary lectures are held is fully equipped with an audio/video system, including laptop and beamer. In all other rooms a laptop and beamer including connection cables are available for your presentation.

Wifi and ethernet are available at the conference venue.

Meals are not included in the conference fee. The conference will take place in the city center of Palermo, where a lot of restaurants serving excellent food can be found. It is recommended to make a restaurant reservation. Palermo is also well known for its delicious street food, which you will find in sufficient quantities in the streets surrounding the conference venue.

Coffee breaks will be offered at the venue, and are included in the conference fee.

15 May starting 19:30 at Antica Focacceria San Francesco, via Alessandro Paternostro, 58, Palermo. De Gruyter and Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht contributed to the reception.

May 14, 19:30 by the Artea Piano Quartet at the Palazzo Alliata di Villafranca, Piazza Bologni 20, Palermo. Your name badge acts as an entry ticket, so don’t forget to bring it with you. Go here to read more about the Quartet and here about the concert programme.

For questions concerning the registration procedure, payment, or other practical matters, please contact us via For all other questions you may contact


Fabrizio D'Avenia

University of Palermo                                                                                                                 "Sicilia Sacra" Between Bishops, Missionaries and Inquisitors: Mobility, Encounters, Conflicts

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Laura Beck Varela

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid                                                                                             Index and Constitution. Natural Law and Catholic Constitutionalism in the Iberian American World (1700-1837)

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Daniel Lindmark

Umeå University                                                                                                                     Encounters between the Church and the Sámi People in the Lutheran North

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Aleksandra Lipińska

University of Cologne                                                                                                                Leopolis Multiplex. Art and Architecture as Instruments of Interconfessional Encounters in Early Modern Lviv

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Jan Loop

University of Copenhagen                                                                                                           The Qur’an in the Age of Confessionalization. Theodor Bibliander’s Edition of 1543/50 and Its Impact

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Réka Újlaki-Nagy

Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest                                                                                                                                        The Label of "Judaization" among Early Modern Transylvanian Antitrinitarians

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