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Symposium - The Interwar Kulturkampf: Transnational Struggles over Secularism, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

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Event Date:

June 26, 2015, 09:00 - June 26, 2015, 17:00

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Date / time
Date(s) - 26 June
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location Queen's University Belfast

This symposium will examine how the shock waves of antireligious violence in countries like Mexico, Spain, and the USSR converged with intellectual and social projects to reorder the church-state systems shaken up as a result of the First World War, producing what can be described as a transnational culture war. The following contributions will treat religious-secular fronts—both real and rhetorical—as sites of differentiation, identity construction, and exchange, and thereby offer new perspective on the secularist left, the religious right and points in between.

This symposium will inaugurate the international research network Socialism and Religion in the Twentieth Century.

• Klaus Große Kracht, Münster, “German Catholic Action in the late Weimar Republic”
• Fearghal McGarry, QUB, “Catholicism and political culture in interwar Ireland,”
• Todd Weir, QUB, “Secularism and confession in Nazi religious polemics 1919-1934″
• Daniela Saresella, Milan, “Catholic anti-fascism and the socialist and communist culture in Italy (1919-1939)”
• Stefan Berger, Bochum, “Interwar Social Democracy and religion, comparative perspectives.”
• Stéphanie Roulin, Fribourg, “Pro-Deo: Christian anticommunism in France and Switzerland”
• Julio de la Cueva Merino, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, “Violence and culture: religion and revolution in interwar Mexico, Russia and Spain”
• Paul Hanebrink, Rutgers, “European Protestants and the Communist threat: The other interwar Kulturkampf?”
• James Chappel, Duke, ” Jacques Maritain, Ernst Karl Winter, and the perils of Catholic socialism in the 1930s.”
• Claudia Baldoli, Newcastle, “The protest of the peasant ‘White Leagues’ against the First World War in Italy”
• Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock, Wesleyan, “The Religious Front: Secularism and Atheism under Lenin and Stalin, 1917-1943.”
• Igor Polianski, Ulm, “Religion as a disease. Medicine and anti-religious movement in the early Soviet Union”
• Alma Heckman, UCLA, “Anti-fascism, zionism and the interwar Moroccan left”
• Massimo De Giuseppe, Milan, “’Socialistas y catolicos y’: the Cardenista government and the Church in postrevolutionary Mexico

The symposium begins at 9 am in the Senate Room, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University Belfast and is open to the public.
The Journal for Contemporary History has provided generous support to the symposium and will publish a special issue on its theme. Welcomed contributions were also received from the Royal Historical Society, The German History Society and the School of History and Anthropology at Queen’s University.
For more information, please write convener Todd Weir (t.weir(at)qub.ac.uk)

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