Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Convegno Grande Guerra

Religion, Clergy and the Great War: Local and Confessional Implications

 Adamello, Ghiacciaio Presena, Messa al campo, 1915, dipinto di H. Bertle

The most recent studies on the Great War have dedicated more attention to the religious dimension of the war. Religion played a fundamental role in the rhetoric of conflict, motivating the soldiers and supporting the people. However, the exploitation of new sources (diaries and letters, but also votive offerings, sacred images, amulets), showed the gap between the messages diffused by the propaganda apparatus and the real religious sentiment of soldiers and civilians. Between imagined religion and lived religion. A gap already warned of during the war by careful observers, who variously tried to denounce it or to fill it.

The International Conference organized in Brescia by the Department of Religious Studies of the Catholic University of Milan, with the SAGAS of the University of Florence and the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Comparative Studies of the University Ca' Foscari of Venice, will discuss the strategies and the messages that the different religious institutions addressed to the countries and the people involved in the conflict (with special attention to Italy and Catholicism). The conference will pay particular attention to those most directly involved in properly religious motivation and mobilization and to the forms of their commitment: from the Catholic military chaplains to the Anglican, Orthodox and Islamic clergy. The link between religion and war is thus considered from a well-defined point of view, but in an interdisciplinary, interfaith and comparative perspective.

Italian version