The Merton Priory History Conference

With regret, we have to postpone this until next year. This is for two reasons: first, the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 means that we do not yet know whether we will be able to hold this event physically. We do not wish to hold it online – part of its reason is to bring people together in the Chapter House – and therefore we feel it wise to postpone it to a more certain time. The other reason is to do with the delay in building works at the Chapter House (see this post for details).

If you are interested in giving a paper next year, rather than this year, please get in touch.

The Chapter House at Merton Priory was a conference venue from the 12th century to its demolition in the 16th. Now that it’s able to host conferences once more, we’re delighted to announce the Merton Priory History Conference.

A view of monastic learning by John Mansbridge (1901-81)

The Merton Priory History Conference hopes to bring historians of different periods and fields together to discuss topics of common interest. The theme of our first conference, to be held on 20th-21st July 2021, is pluralism.

Pluralism can refer to various things, but this conference focuses on the practice, medieval and modern, of holding more than one office. For example, medieval monarchs relied on ecclesiastical pluralism for their ‘civil service’, and pluralism in the Church of England was still an issue well into the 19th century. We welcome submissions from all sorts of historians – social, economic, political, ecclesiastical, arts and literature – as well as theologians and other disciplines, with interests in Britain, Europe or anywhere else.

Call for Papers

The conference theme covers a broad chronology from the Middle Ages to the present day. Themes include:

  • Pluralists – individuals and/ or institutions
  • Absenteeism
  • Socio-economic impacts of pluralism
  • Political impacts of pluralism
  • Reaction to/ reception of pluralism and/ or pluralists
  • Change in attitudes and realities over time
  • Theological and ethical interpretations and implications

Papers should:

  • be 20 minutes long (that’s around 2,600 words).
  • be original and contribute to the field of study.
  • avoid too much specialist language or jargon – the audience is broad.

Papers can be jointly written and delivered, but we limit the number of authors to two.

Proposals are welcome from academics at all career stages, PhD. students, and from independent scholars. We anticipate papers mainly focussing on Europe, but we welcome papers on topics from elsewhere. Proposals should be no more than 200 words.

The deadline for submissions is 1st January 2021.

E-mail us your proposal at mertonprioryconference@gmail.com. (If you’ve any queries, please also e-mail us at this address.)

We look forward to reading your submission.

Katie Hawks (UWTSD) and Andrew Harvey

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The Merton Priory Trust is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England.
Company Registration No.3525361. Charity Registration No. 1071445.