Call for Papers: Conference (hybrid): The Church and [the] Otherness

The purpose of this conference is to emphasize the problem of “otherness” in the context of Church history. In the Bible, the Saviour defines two groups, those “blessed by My Father”, who will inherit the Kingdom prepared for them “since the creation of the world” (Matt. 25: 34-40), and the “cursed”, who will be sent to “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25: 41-46). The Lord reveals himself only to “the pure in heart” (Matt. 5:8).
Besides the identification of otherness, the Church prescribes the recipe for the birth of the “new” man: repentance. According to the ecclesiastic philosophers, the difference between righteous and sinners (between “us” and “them”) has been established according to the divine design of Creation.

The aim of this conference is to bring together researchers with common interests in a discussion on several leading questions: where are the categories “us” and “them” situated; who are the “others”; how is their image constructed.

The international conference is open to specialists from different fields: historians, culturologists, theologians, art historians, archivists, philologists, philosophers, etc. The conference will be held in Sofia (Bulgaria) on 8-9 November 2023. Online participation will be very welcomed.

The main topics are the following:

  • Theological contributions to “otherness”
  • Heretics and the Church
  • The problem of the primacy of bishops
  • The Crusades and the Church
  • Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants
  • Christianity vs. other religions
  • New religious movements
  • Church politics, ethnophyletism and the problem of identity.

Please submit an abstract (max. 200 words) by 15th June 2023 to


Author: Dr. Bernard Mulholland

Dr. Bernard Mulholland is a Byzantinist, archaeologist, historian and Patristics scholar with a Ph.D. in history (QUB, 2012). Bernard's publications include: Fiction: Bernard Mulholland, Nazareth Quest (2022). Non-fiction: Bernard Mulholland, The man from MENSA - 1 of 600: Mensa research (2016). ---, The man from MENSA - 1 of the 600: Politics 1990-1995 (2016). ---, Ratio analysis of financial KPI in the Higher Education sector: a case study (2018). ---, Early Byzantine Ireland: a survey of the archaeological evidence (2021). ---, Navan Fort, Ireland: archaeological and palaeoecological analysis (2021). ---, The Early Byzantine Christian Church (Oxford, 2014). ---, 'Identification of Early Byzantine Constantinopolitan, Syrian, and Roman church plans in the Levant and some possible consequences', Patristic Studies in the twenty-first century: proceedings of an international conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the International Association of Patristic Studies, ed. Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony, Theodore de Bruyn and Carol Harrison (Turnhout, 2015), 597-633. Mulholland, B. (2021). 'Can archaeology inform the climate change debate?' Academia Letters, Article4385.

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