Mittwoch, 23. Oktober 2019, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Geschichte am Mittwoch

In Kooperation mit der Österreichischen Gesellschaft zur Erforschung des 18. Jahrhunderts

Vincenzo Lavenia (Bologna): Faith on the Battlefield. Chaplains, Soldiers and Religion in Early Modern Europe. (The talk will be followed by a moderated discussion with Chiara Petrolini about the current state of historical research in Italy.)



Hörsaal 33 (HS) im Hauptgebäude der Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien


Moderation: Chiara Petrolini – Thomas Wallnig


The intervention will investigate the relations between Neo-Stoicism and the model of soldier developed in the military catechisms which were invented after Reformation, during the Wars of religions, also as an answer to Erasmus’ irenism, Machiavelli’s realism, and the challenge of the Ottoman empire. After bringing out how the concepts of just and holy war had been revised over the centuries, it will show that in the 16th century the discussion concerning the legitimacy of conflicts became a matter of conscience. Increasingly, thinking about how to behave during a war became more and more important, at the expense of the questions concerning the ius ad bellum. This was also possible thanks to the development of fixed military chaplaincies, like those that set up by the Society of Jesus in Flanders. The Eighty Years’ War was a turning point in the relationship between soldiers and clergy: here, a permanent chaplaincy for the pastoral care of the Spanish tercios was established for the first time. Since then, on both the Catholic and the Protestant sides, dozens of books and pamphlets were printed to motivate the combatants in the service of faith to discipline the armies’ behaviour. In this genre of texts moral casuistry, catechism, and military penal law converged in shaping a project aimed to reform the conscience of soldiers after the ‘military’ revolution and the division of Western Christianity, up until the age of nationalism and the 20th century world wars.


Zum Vortragenden:

Vincenzo Lavenia is associate professor at the University of Bologna. He was also enseignant chercheur invité at the EPHE in Paris. His interests include: war and religion, moral theology, history of justice. Among his publications: (co-dir.), Dizionario storico dell’Inquisizione, 4 vols., 2010; Dio in uniforme. Cappellani, catechesi cattolica e soldati in età moderna, 2017; (co-ed.), Fruits of Migration: Heterodox Italian Migrants and Central European Culture 1550-1620, 2018.


Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Institut für Geschichte


Martina Fuchs
Institut für Geschichte