CIHEC (Commission Internationale d’Histoire et d’Études du Christianisme) is sponsoring a conference on ‘BISHOP AND RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY: 950th Anniversary of the Benedictine Nunnery of St Nicholas’ in Trogir, Croatia, 5-7 June 2014

The history of many European cities was shaped by the figure of a bishop whose ties to the city had both spiritual and more tangible secular consequences. The topography of the city, its economy, its institutions, its liturgy, its reputation as well as its citizens’ sense of civic pride could be shaped by and were dependent upon his association with the city. Bishops and lay élites could not remain passive observers in the central decades of the 11th century, during the major ecclesiastical reform that changed the regular and diocesan environments in the Latin West. Their active involvement in the religious renewal was confirmed in the first place by the flourishing of the new foundations ranging from the great urban abbeys to minor churches and hospices promoted by the pious bishops, influential intellectuals and rich merchants.

During the papal legate’s visit to Dalmatia in 1062 Benedictine monk John from St Peter’s abbey in Osor was elected to succeed the deceased bishop of Trogir and to promote the reform movement. In 1064, helped by the noble citizens of Trogir, Bishop John founded the first Benedictine nunnery in Dalmatia on the site of the early medieval church of St Doimus close to the southern city gate. One of the major civic ecclesiastical institution, the still active de clausura nunnery of St Nicholas survived the extinction of two nunneries founded somewhat later, and that of the major male abbey of St John the Baptist.

The aim of this conference is to gain clearer understanding of the construction, enhancement and expression of episcopal office in relation to the religious communities, the impact on religious, political and cultural practice and institutions at local level in the Mediterranean, Central, Western and Northern Europe.

We welcome contributions dealing with aspects of the bishop’s activities and interactions at a local level in different parts of Europe. Potential topics include relationships between a bishop and representatives of religious communities (preferably Benedictine female, but other orders are not excluded); successful careers of bishops who came from/or retired to a religious community, or bishops who founded/reformed a religious house/order, role of religious communities in the urban settlements in history, history of art, architecture, canon law and episcopal jurisdiction from the Middle Ages to the present. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words for papers, in English, of approximately twenty minutes in length to: Jadranka Neralic (

Deadline for Submissions: 28 February 2014