Monarchs and Religious Confraternities

Interdisciplinary Workshop of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”

Poster of the workshop „Monarchs and Religious Confraternities“


Which resources can be derived from religious traditions in order to substantiate claims of political rulers in social practice? Is it possible to refer to religious norms in order to reinforce social consensus? Which symbolic forms and institutional mechanisms could be used by political authorities and rulers in order to position themselves within structures made up by different social groups? The workshop to take place in Münster will be focussing especially on such cases which can shed light on the problem under which circumstances subjects as well as officials were drawn together in specific social and/or religious groups on the initiative of rulers with the aim of enhancing and strengthening social ties with political authorities.

Case studies will be discussing the opportunities offered by specific religious traditions to monarchs in order to establish relations with members of elites and their subordinates not only in the immediate surroundings of the court and its officials, but also in regions further away from centres of power. This includes first of all relations of patronage, but particular attention will also be given to relations based on religious fraternisation, more especially on such religious confraternities that were differentiated from society by specific institutional mechanisms. The conference will also ask whether certain Hellenistic associations performed comparable functions in antiquity.

Furthermore, the workshop will address the question of how political actors stabilized their rule under concrete historical circumstances, availing themselves of potentials derived from the respective religious traditions as well as from more permanent political and social structures. This question is related to the problem under which preconditions institutional stabilisations can succeed and endure and how such stabilisations can be grounded and contextualized in theoretical notions of (ideal) order. (exc)

Interdisciplinary Workshop „Monarchs and Religious Confraternities“, 6. to 8. November 2014

Hörsaalgebäude des Exzellenzclusters
Raum JO 101
Johannisstraße 4
48143 Münster


Thursday, 6. November

16:00-16:15 Welcome/ Inauguration Wolfram Drews, Münster
16:15-17:00 Artists’ Associations and Hellenistic Rulers Brigitte Le Guen, Paris
17:00-17:45 Towards a Typology of Confraternities in Byzantium Claudia Rapp, Vienna
18:15-19:00 John the Almsgiver and the Patrician Nicetas: Brotherhood in Question Georges Sideris, Paris

Friday, 7. November

09:30-10:15 The Foundation and Early Development of the Order of the Garter in England, 1348–1399 W. Mark Ormrod, York
10:15-11:00 The Order of the Sash (Orden de la Banda) Jesús Rodríguez Velasco, New York
11:30-12:15 Bruderschaftliche Aspekte beim Orden vom Goldenen Vlies Sonja Dünnebeil, Vienna
14:00-14:45 Religious Fraternities and Islamic Rulers: Futuwwa from the Rise of the Proto-Sunnis through the Seljuq Era Deborah Tor, Notre Dame
14:45-15:30 Political Patronage and Spiritual Sponsorship in 15th/16th-Century Amasya Colin Mitchell, Halifax
16:00-16:45 Changing Relations between the Safavid Court and the Evolving Sufi Discourse – Popular and ‘Academic’ Andrew J. Newman, Edinburgh
16:45-17:30 Stellvertreter Gottes oder Herr der Welt? – Das Dilemma eines indischen Herrscherhauses. Konflikte und Kooperation zwischen Königen und Priestern im Reich der Gangas von Orissa 1113–1568 Georg Berkemer, Berlin

Saturday, 8. November

09:30-10:15 Das chinesische Kaisertum und das buddhistische Mönchtum im 6. Jahrhundert: Formen religiöser Vergemeinschaftung und ihre Widerstände Andreas Janousch, Madrid
10:15-11:00 The Order of the dharma and the Order of Rulership – On the Relationship between Monastic Community and Worldly Power in the History of Buddhism Max Deeg, Cardiff
11:00 Final discussion