Order into Action. How large-scale concepts of world-order determine practices in the premodern world

Order into Action. How large-scale concepts of world-order determine practices in the premodern world

Christoph Mauntel, Klaus Oschema, Bernd Schneidmüller (Cluster of Excellence „Asia and Europe in a Global Context“, Project A27: World Orders in Transcultural Perspective: Pre-modern Concepts of Continents and Empire, Heidelberg University)
Heidelberg University Library, Plöck 107-109
Vom - Bis
10.11.2016 - 12.11.2016
Christoph Mauntel

In recent years, research on premodern systems of world order (concepts and practices) and the categories they employed has considerably intensified: numerous enlightening studies focus on the diversity of perceptions and descriptions of “the world” in premodern Europe and Asia (c.1300-1600). These studies help us to better understand, how historical actors or societies constructed and perceived the world they inhabited. However, the question if and how the large-scale concepts that constituted the basic elements of systems of world order were translated into concrete actions or practices, still remains underexplored. In order to analyse and underline the relevance of insights into the mental representations of “the world”, we consider it necessary and fruitful to ask, how theoretical models and the categories on which they rely influence (or even determine) concrete actions.
The conference “Order into Action” envisages to combine and discuss the perspectives of scholars in European, Arabic and Islamic as well as Asian Studies, organised in the three thematic fields of religion, political ideas and geographic models. In order to include comparative outlooks on regions and cultures that were not (or less) connected with the cultures of the premodern Eurasian œcumene, contributions also include papers on premodern societies in (sub-saharan) Africa, the Americas and Australia.

Attendance to the conference is free. Due to limited seating capacities, we ask, however, that interested guests register via email to christoph.mauntel@uni-tuebingen.de before 1. November 2016.


Thursday, November 10
13:30 to 14.00 Welcome/ Coffee

14:00 to 14:10 Veit Probst (Heidelberg): Welcome

14:20 to 14:30 Klaus Oschema/Christoph Mauntel: Introduction

Panel 1: Religious concepts
Chair: Bernd Schneidmüller (Heidelberg)

14:30 to 15:20 David Max Moerman (New York): The Buddhist World Continent and the European World Order: Transcultural Cartography in Japan, 1300-1700

15:20 to 16:10 Nora Berend (Cambridge): The concept of christianitas: a guide to action?

16:10 to 16:40 Coffee Break

16:40 to 17:30 Daniel König (Heidelberg): dār al-ḥarb and terra paganorum. On the Practical Implications of Circumscribing the Sphere of the ‘Infidels’

Friday, November 11
Panel 2: Political concepts
Chair: Enno Giele (Heidelberg)

09:00 to 09:50 Michal Biran (Jerusalem): The Mongol World-Order: From Universalism to Glocalization

09:50 to 10:40
Albrecht Fuess (Marburg): Global Historiography and Mirrors for Princes: Concepts of Political Rule in the Near East (15th-16th centuries)

10:40 to 11:10 Coffee Break

11:10 to 12:00 Klaus Oschema (Princeton/Heidelberg)/Christoph Mauntel (Tübingen): Between Universal Empire and the Plurality of Kingdoms – the Influence of Political Concepts in Late Medieval Latin Europe

12:00 to 14:00 Lunch Break

Panel 3: Geographic concepts
Chair: Joachim Kurtz (Heidelberg)

14:00 to 14:50 Christine Gadrat-Ouerfelli (Marseille): Travelling through empires: how Medieval travellers conceived of Asia

14:50 to 15:40 Michael Wintle (Amsterdam): The Advent of the Black Magus: exoticism, court politics and the creation of a continental hierarchy

15:40 to 16:10 Coffee Break

16:10 to 17:00 Donatella Guida (Naples): Bestowing Benevolence. The Chinese Imperial World Order and the Construction of its Margins.

Saturday, November 12
Panel 4: Outlook: premodern societies in Africa, the Americas and Australia
Chair: Gerrit Jasper Schenk (Darmstadt)

09:00 to 09:50 Mark Horton (Bristol): Beyond Eurasia – the African contribution to the premodern world

09:50 to 10:40 Veronica Strang (Durham): Seeing Through the Rainbow: Aboriginal Australian concepts of an ordered universe

10:40 to 11:10 Coffee Break

11:10 to 12:00 Frauke Sachse (Bonn): Worlds in Words: The Encounter of Pre-Columbian and European Cosmologies in Colonial Missionary and Indigenous Texts from Highland Guatemala

12:00 to 12:30 Final discussion/Concluding remarks


Christoph Mauntel

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, GRK "Religiöses Wissen im vormodernen Europa (800-1800)"
Liebermeisterstr. 12, 72076 Tübingen
+49 (0)7071/29-7733