In recent times, the world has seen the growth of a spiral of violence inspired by religious fanaticism. In addition, Politics and media often monopolized the debate leading dangerous simplifications in evaluating these phenomena as structural traits of religious systems.
Given this starting point, this international conference aims to build an interdisciplinary dialogue on the controversial connection between violence and religions. Particular attention will be focused not only on the ideological dimensions implied in a specific core beliefs or religious system, but also on the function played by violence in ritual practices and in characterizing extra-human beings.

Scholars are encouraged to present their findings relating the following points:

1. How to define an “acts of violence” adopting the emic perspective of a specific social, historical and religious environments? Which is the attitude of the traditional religions towards different kinds of “acts of violence”? Which is the meaning and function of an “acts of violence” concerning a specific religious system?
2. Adopting the emic perspective of a specific historical and socio/cultural context, could an “act of violence” characterize an extra-human being? If yes, how?
3. Adopting the emic perspective of a specific historical and socio/cultural context, which is the function and the meaning of a ritualized “act of violence”? Why is it performed by a social group?
4. Adopting the emic perspective of a specific historical and socio/cultural context, could violence be a characterizing trait of certain ritual operators?
5. Which is the meaning and the function of the “acts of violence” in traditional/religious tales, myths and legends? Could the “act of violence” be an essential trait of the narrative plot in order to express its foundational or pedagogical aim?
6. Which is the role of religions in both promoting and legitimating violence in conflictual contexts (punishments against a single individual, wars, terrorism, etc.)? Is it possible to find a direct cause-effect relationship between violence and religious beliefs? Or is it possible to individualize other factors? As regards contemporary societies, where the distinction between the religious and the temporal spheres is supposed to be stronger, how is explained the potential connection linking religion and violence? And which is the role of media and politics?
7. How thinkers, theologians and philosophers from the different world religions approached the theme of “violence” through time?
8. Philosophical reflections and intellectual thoughts about the connection between violence and religion.
9. Critical reviews on previous studies and approaches.

The conference is structured in four research areas:

1. Anthropology of Religions (coordinator: Fabio Dei — Università degli Studi di Pisa)
2. Philosophy of Religions (coordinator: Gianfranco Mormino — Università degli Studi di Milano)
3. Sociology of Religions (coordinator: Enzo Pace — Università degli Studi di Padova)
4. History of Religions (coordinator: Paolo Scarpi — Università degli Studi di Padova)

Organization office: Igor Baglioni (Museo delle Religioni “Raffaele Pettazzoni”)

Please send a one-page abstract (max 2.000 characters) to Igor Baglioni, the director of the museum, ( by April 1st, 2017.
Abstract must include: the paper title; the chosen research area; a brief biographical note about the author; a brief resume of the paper; e-mail address and telephone number.
Papers could be presented in the following languages: French, English, Italian, Spanish.
The acceptance of papers will be communicated only to the selected contributors by April 15, 2017.
Please sent the complete paper by 1/June/2017, including notes and bibliography. The delivery of the paper is mandatory in order to attend the conference.
Dates to remember:
Closing for call for papers: April 1st, 2017.
Notification of paper acceptance: April 15, 2017.
Delivery of paper: June 2st, 2017.
Conference: June 13-14-15-16-17, 2017
Attendance fees are not required. Accommodations in hotels which have a special agreement with the Museum of Religions “Raffaele Pettazzoni” are provided.
A peer-reviewed edited volume of the papers arising from the conference will be published in Religio. Collana di Studi del Museo delle Religioni “Raffaele Pettazzoni” (Edizioni Quasar)
The conference is part of the third edition of “Castelli Romani. Mito, Religioni e Tradizioni Eno-Gastronomiche” (Roman Castles. Myth, Religions and Food and Wine Traditions). And, it is promoted by the “Raffaele Pettazzoni Museum of Religions” Foundation, and the towns of: Albano Laziale, Ariccia, Artena, Castel Gandolfo, Genzano di Roma, Grottaferrata, Lanuvio, Marino, Nemi, Rocca di Papa and Velletri. Every evening the speakers will be hosted in a different town, where they could take part for free in guided tours of the main museums and monuments.
For information: