Conference 2023

Dear Colleagues!

Institute of History and International Relations of Southern Federal University and "Novoe Proshloe / The New Past" journal invite you to participate in the international conference "The New Past – 5: : Empires and Nationalism in Terms of Political Theology", which will be held in September 21–23, 2023 in Rostov on-Don, Pushkinskaya Street, 140.

An established tradition and style of the journal "Novoe Proshloe / The New Past" is the actualization of scientific problems through great texts and the anniversary agenda. In 2023 a number of symbolic dates are directly or indirectly associated with the emergence of fundamental ideas and works that constituted the intellectual, cultural and political landscape of the Modern and Contemporary Times, and correspond with the topics of our journal, for example, social memory, construction of the past, identity and socio-political thought.
Exactly one hundred years ago, the book "Political Theology" by Carl Schmitt was published, legitimizing one of the key ideological concepts of the 20th century. Without being the inventor of the term itself, which arose at least half a century earlier, Schmitt introduced a capacious verbal marker of the most significant process in political sphere as well as the sphere of collective consciousness, which characterizes both the "long 19th century" and the "short 20th". First of all this is about such a landmark phenomenon of the Modern era as nationalism. According to Schmitt's approach modern political ideology is based on desacralized images and representations of religious consciousness. Schmitt gave grounds for a simple and plausible interpretation of nationalism as substitute for religion in a disenchanted world.

Later, the semantic field of the concept of political theology was expanded. Since the publication of the classic work “The King's Two Bodies” by Ernst Kantorovich, the concept became applicable not only to the New and Contemporary Times, but also to the Middle Ages, and later to societies outside the Christian world. Thus, this concept turned out to be suitable for describing a variety of modes of conjugation of religious and political consciousness. This is particularly relevant today. On the one hand, the world is experiencing a revival of religious values, which, contrary to the hopes of critics of nationalism of the last century, does not at all reduce the degree of aggression in the intercultural and interethnic relations. On the other hand, the inviolability of two dichotomous constructions of "empire-nation" and "nation-religion" was compromised. The increasing use in scientific and public discourse of such concepts as "imperial nation" or "religious nationalism" clearly shows that there is a conceptual gradient where dichotomies were previously seen.

Two iconic names grounded the problems of political theology in Russian history. Exactly five centuries ago, Philotheus of Pskov formulated the theory of "Moscow, the Third Rome", which is considered not only one of the most recognizable verbal images of Russian history, but also almost a standard example of a medieval religious and political doctrine that has found a second wind in the modern world. Considering the reception of Filofei's ideas in Russian political thought and philosophy of the imperial period, which, according to S. Zenkovsky, is "completely historiosophical", another name should be mentioned. Vladimir Solovyov, one of the greatest Russian thinkers, responded to the debates of that time about the meaning of the ideas of "Byzantism" and "Third Rome".

During the conference we are going to discuss following issues:
- Heuristic potential and methodological boundaries of the concept of "political theology"
- Generalities and specifics in the conjugation of religion, historical memory and politics in traditional, modern and modern societies
- Explicit and hidden religious meanings of imperial ideologies
- Nationalism as a secular religion of the disenchanted world
- Key concepts of the Russian religious and political tradition
- Historical Imagination and Prophetism in American Political Religion

Within the framework of these areas, we accept applications on both theoretical or methodological understanding of the problems posed and specific research cases or relevant source study practices.

Working languages of the conference are Russian and English.

Applications for participation in the conference with the abstracts (300-500 words) should be submitted before June 15, 2023 on the journal’s website "Novoe Proshloe / The New Past" ( - button "Conference 2023").

In addition to individual papers, we accept applications for panels, including 3-4 individual papers, united by a common problem, within the framework of the indicated areas.
The application must include:
1. Name, surname, affiliation, e-mail of the initiator.
2. Name, surname, affiliation, e-mail of the chairman of the panel (may be the same person).
3. The panel's area of research.
4. The title and abstract (300-500 words) of the panel as a whole.
5. Name, surname, affiliation, e-mail, title of the report of the panel members. Annotations of individual reports are not required.
Applications for organizing panels must be sent to before June 15, 2023 with an attached file containing the required information.
It is not required to fill an individual application form if you participate in the organization of the panel as a speaker.

The organizing committee will inform the decision to include reports in the conference program no later than August 1, 2023.

The Organizing Committee has a limited number of travel grants to pay for travel and accommodation of the conference participants on a competitive basis.

The reports presented at the conference can be published in the format of scientific articles and reports in the issues of "Novoe Proshloe / The New Past" (2024). Materials for publication will be accepted in accordance with the rules for reviewing and submitting materials to the journal.

For inquiries: Natalya Dmitrieva
All fields of the "Application for participation" form must be filled

Application for participation