Seventeenth International Congress of Medieval Canon Law (ICMCL) Canterbury, UK, 7-13 July 2024: Call for Papers

The 17th International Congress of Medieval Canon Law, co-sponsored by ICMAC (Iuris
Canonici Medii Aevi Consociatio/International Society of Medieval Canon Law) will be
based at the University of Kent campus in Canterbury, UK, between Sunday, 7 July, and
Saturday, 13 July 2024. These congresses take place every four years on alternate sides of
the Atlantic and constitute the leading academic conferences in the field of medieval canon
law. Traditionally they have drawn scholars from many countries, including not only
medievalists and lawyers, but also those who study related fields, such as Western
jurisprudence and legal norms, Roman law, ecclesiastical and papal history, theology and
biblical exegesis, manuscript studies, and the history of culture, society, and ideas.
ICMAC, the congress organisers Prof. Barbara Bombi FBA, Dr Edward Roberts, and Prof.
Peter Clarke and congress programming committee invite proposals for individual 20-
minute papers and for sessions (of 3 x 20-minute papers or 4 x 15-minute papers) on any
aspect of medieval canon law, including, but not limited to, the following themes:
· Texts and Jurisprudence
· Influence of the ius commune on the Western Legal Tradition and International Law
· Canon Law and Local Ecclesiastical History
· Canon Law, Theology, and Pastoral Care
· Medieval Law in Comparative Perspective
Proposals should be submitted as Word attachments via email to the congress address
( no later than 15 December 2023.
An individual paper proposal should comprise: paper title and language of presentation; a
brief abstract (100-150 words); the speaker’s details (name; academic status; institutional
affiliation; email address).
A session proposal should comprise the above for each paper proposed, together with: the
details (as for speakers above) of the session organiser and session chair; the session title; a brief rationale (50-100 words) for the session, i.e., how the papers are related.
Proposals are welcomed from those at all stages of their academic career, including PhD
students and post-doctoral researchers, as well as independent scholars. Papers may be
delivered in these languages: English; French; German; Italian; or Spanish. Scholars not
presenting in English are encouraged to use PowerPoint presentations and/or provide
written English summaries of their papers.
Regular sessions will not feature papers on text-editing projects (but can include papers
on manuscript studies). Updates on such projects will be showcased in a poster session
during the Congress. Scholars who wish to present on such projects may submit two
proposals if they desire, one for the poster session and another for a regular session.
The organisers would especially welcome proposals on the theme ‘Bridging the Divide’,
focusing on Canterbury as a place of significance in the history of Western Christianity and
medieval canon law before and after the Protestant Reformation and as the centre of the
global Anglican communion. Contributions to this theme might cover such topics as:
• Canterbury’s role in the compilation and diffusion of medieval canon law in the
English Church
• Canon law and local jurisdictions: application of canon law in the archbishops’ and
other local church courts
• Canon law and secular law: the impact of the Becket crisis on medieval canon law
(especially after the Constitutions of Clarendon in 1164) and its long-term legacy
• Global Anglicanism: the continuing influence of medieval canon law in the Anglican
communion and other post-Reformation churches
Although the chronological focus of the Congress is typically c. 500 – c. 1500, we would
also welcome contributions from early modernists to this theme, which is designed to
bridge the all too separate study of pre- and post-Reformation Christianity and explore
continuities and synergies in the history of canon law over the longue durée. Historians of
early modern Catholicism are also invited to offer papers exploring continuities of pre –
Tridentine canon law in Europe and the New World, including among English Catholics.
In addition, we would welcome contributions to the strand ‘Canon law and governance’,
which will explore how the study of medieval canon law can help inform current public
policy debates, notably on the role of international law, electoral systems, constitutional
reform, and representative government. The strand will thus focus on these four topics:
• Canon law and international law: the transnational influence of medieval canon law
on the emergence of national legal systems
• Constitutionalism and canon law: the interaction of medieval canon law and secular
law in the development of governing institutions
• Communities and canon law: the role of medieval canon law in the emergence and
definition of groups and communities, such as women and clergy
• Elections and consent: the influence of medieval canon law on the role of elections
and consent in government
Papers on other aspects of medieval canon law and governance, such as human rights, are
also welcome. The purpose of this strand is to show the continuing relevance of medieval
canon law to political issues and appeal to a broader public audience. Invited speakers in
this special strand include:
• Prof. Orazio Condorelli (University of Catania, Italy)
• Prof. Christof Rolker (University of Bamberg, Germany)
• Prof. Caroline Humfress (University of St Andrews, UK)
• Prof. Nicholas Vincent FBA (University of East Anglia, UK)
• Prof. Sara Butler (Ohio State University, USA)
• Prof. Charles West (University of Sheffield, UK)
• Dr Joseph Canning (Queens’ College, Cambridge, UK)
• Dr Danica Summerlin (University of Sheffield, UK)
• Prof. Kenneth Pennington (Catholic University of America, Washington DC