Cultures of Belief and Unbelief

14th Annual Conference of the International Society for Cultural History

2–5 August 2022 University of Verona, Italy

About the conference

The International Society for Cultural History (ISCH) organises annual conferences since 2008. The subject of this year’s 14th conference in Verona, Italy, is “Cultures of Belief and Unbelief”.

The current political arena and the response to the pandemic are the battleground of spectacular cultural wars, involving the systematic production and circulation of fake news and the – often preposterous – questioning of facts. These developments, which come last in a long series, invite historians to critically revisit the way belief has been constructed, controlled and questioned in the past in a wide spectrum of fields, from information to the understanding of nature, and beyond.

With its focus on mental maps and modes of representation of reality, cultural history is particularly well equipped to offer a substantial contribution to the quest for understanding, beyond the biological level of the formation of images and ideas, the social processes by which people from different groups and in a variety of contexts have developed faith as well as scepticism, and the way belief and unbelief have prompted them to action or inaction.


Thank you all participants for making this conference so successful!

Presenters are invited to consider submitting articles to the ISCH’s official peer-reviewed journal, Cultural History (published by the Edinburgh University Press), and monographs to the book series it publishes with Routledge.

We hope to see you again at our next conferences! The calls for papers will be published on the ISCH website, in the newsletter, and via various other channels.

Keynote speakers

Ecaterina Lung

Keynote lecture ‘Shared beliefs? The Virgin Mary and the 626 CE Siege of Constantinople’, on Tuesday 2 August at 14:30-15:30

Ecaterina Lung is a professor and the director of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Bucharest as well as the Chair of the ISCH. Her principal research interests are Medieval History, Historiography of the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages, Church History in the Medieval West, and Medieval Culture. For her publications, see here.

Francesco Paolo de Ceglia

Keynote lecture ‘Criminals, saints and some vampires. The natural, the preternatural and the supernatural in the different early modern European cultural contexts‘, on Wednesday 3 August at 14:30-15:30

Francesco Paolo de Ceglia is an Associate professor of the History of science at the University of Bari. He is a scholar and science communicator of modern scientific thought and of the history of science especially in their connection to theology and aesthetics. Moreover, he has twice been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of science in Berlin. He has widely published both academic and popular books and articles. See the list here.

Jean-Pierre Cavaillé

Keynote lecture ‘Popular Irreligion’, on Friday 5 August at 14:30-15:30

Jean-Pierre Cavaillé is the Maître de conférences at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, in Toulouse. His studies focus on the History of philosophy and intellectual, religious, social, and political history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well as French, Italian, English, and Neo-Latin literature of these centuries. For his recent pubblications, see here.