CALL FOR PAPERS: Mysticism and Devotion Between the Cell and the World

Mysticism and Devotion Between the Cell and the World
Carthusians and Jesuits in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Period

8-10 June 2023
Ruusbroec Institute, University of Antwerp
The annual conference of the Mystical Theology Network

The Ruusbroec Institute (University of Antwerp),, and the Mystical Theology Network are organizing an international conference in Antwerp from 8-10 June 2023. The conference will be held in the context of the city festival and exhibition ‘Baroque Influencers’, an initiative of the Jesuit Heritage Foundation, the University Centre Saint Ignatius Antwerp (UCSIA), and the University of Antwerp.

We welcome abstracts in English from all relevant disciplines and backgrounds across the academic spectrum. Presenters will have the opportunity to publish a refereed article in a dedicated volume from this conference.

Topics should adopt a comparative approach, broadly construed, on the Carthusian Order and the Society of Jesus and can include, but are not restricted to:

- Early Jesuits as inheritors of the mystical tradition and Carthusian spirituality
- Carthusians as authors or mediators of mystical texts
- Analogies and differences between Carthusians and Jesuits as proponents of devotional exercises and practices
- Circulation of written sources and cultures of letter exchange, manuscripts, books, and printing
- Jesuits as readers of Carthusian texts and Carthusians as readers of Jesuit texts
- Biblical readership and commentary production, (vernacular) translation activities, and polemics in the context of early-modern reformations
- Interactions with the philosophical and theological debates and the development of humanism at universities and schools
- Cross-fertilization of later-medieval monastic reforms and the Devotio Moderna with the Charterhouse and the Society
- Comparisons of visual culture, architecture, and artistic production
- Institutional-juridical and practical aspects of inter-monastic rivalry, tensions with semi-religiosity and lay religious life, and movements/transfers between the two orders
- Carthusian and Jesuit foundations within the urban fabric of early-modern cities and towns; relations with benefactors, ecclesiastical and secular authorities
- Socio-economic and material exchanges between Carthusians and Jesuits

Proposals and inquiries should be sent to Stephen J. Molvarec SJ (, Tom Gaens ( and John Arblaster (

Paper proposals (20 minutes) should include:
- Paper title and max. 150-word abstract
- Speaker’s affiliation and contact information

The deadline for paper proposals is 15 January 2023.