7th Research Meeting (July 2012)

The Seventh Research Meeting (29 July 2012)

The seventh research meeting of the project was held at the Faculty of Letters, University of Tokyo, on 29 July. Twelve members of the project group attended the meeting.

First, Katsumi Fukasawa, the leader of the project, talked about the budget for the year 2012 and confirmed membership details. Then he presented a provisional program for the final international symposium scheduled for the two days of 20 and 21 October. The symposium will be composed of 14 lectures to constitute a general approach to the problem of religious conflict and religious concord in Europe and the Mediterranean world, as it has been addressed through the preparatory workshops organized in 2010 and 2011. The program for the first day will be titled “Catholics and Protestants in early modern Europe”, and that for the second day “Religious pluralism from the Mediterranean to Western Asia”. The outline of the project was approved by all the  members present.

Secondly, the tentative titles and summaries for the papers of invited foreign participants were communicated by the leader. (1) The paper of Miriam Eliav-Feldon will reexamine the relations between Protestants and Catholics by studying several thinkers who advocated religious toleration and reconciliation during the Reformation. (2) The paper of Benjamin J. Kaplan will present a case study on Vaals, a village in Dutch Limburg, to clarify how rival confessions could coexist and practice worship in the borderlands of early modern Europe. (3) That of Robert Armstrong will discuss peace talks and efforts for religious reconciliation in Ireland and England during the civil wars of the 1640s. (4) That of Graeme Murdock will analyze the coexistence of Catholics and Protestants at the level of daily life, as seen in the case of Choulex, a rural community, the rulers of which often changed during the early modern era. (5) That of Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire will describe how inter-confessional dialogue and desire for religious reconciliation developed in the eighteenth century through the correspondence exchanged between a Catholic cardinal and ministers of the French Reformed churches in Prussia. (6) That of Inessa Magilina will lay emphasis on the non-orthodox Islamic faith of Shāh ‘Abbās the Great, a Safavid king, which may explain his open attitude toward Christians and other infidels. (7) That of Ray Jabre Mouawad will discuss the religious symbiosis between Druzes and Christians in Mount-Lebanon from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.

Thirdly, the leader also communicated the provisional titles and summaries of the papers of two members absent from the meeting. (1) Sugiko Nishikawa will address the religious practice of Anglicans settled on the Continent in connection with the local established churches and their rituals, in order to clarify a special case of the “occasional conformity”. (2) Toshiyuki Chiba will reconstruct the intellectual groups who prepared a cultural and theological basis for the church union at the Council of Ferrara-Florence of 1438-1439, underpinned by the notion of reductio signifying conversion. Discussion followed by the members present.

Fourthly, preparatory papers were read by five of the members present. (1) Yutaka Horii presented a panorama of the religious minorities and foreigners (mostly Europeans) in Ottoman Cairo, including their legal status and socio-economic conditions. (2) Makoto Kato discussed conflictive as well as symbiotic relations between Jews and Christians in late medieval Navarre. (3) Masanori Sakano analyzed some aspects of the inter-confessional dialogue in seventeenth-century France before and during the “Peace of Clement IX”, with regard to noble sociability in Paris, research on the Eastern Churches with the aid of diplomats and conversion of some notable persons from Protestant to Catholic. (4) Asuka Tsuji addressed the problem of reconversion of ex-Christian Muslims in late fourteenth-century Egypt by inquiring into the allusive mention of “injured man” which appears in the Coptic hagiographies of the times. (5) Hiromi Saito presented an outline of the religious policy of early modern Venice, putting emphasis on the necessity of a comprehensive survey on the political and economic strategy of the Republic with regard to Greek Orthodox, Jews and Protestants. Each lecture was followed by discussion.

Thus the program of the symposium in autumn 2012 has been determined in detail during the meeting, and all the members present agreed on continuing its preparations for it so as to make it successful.