CFP: Litany in the Arts and Culture, An Edited Volume

Scholars representing various disciplines are kindly encouraged to submit paper proposals focusing on litanies and their forms and representations in different spheres of culture, including liturgy, literature, music, the visual arts, spirituality, and philosophy. The book Litany in the Arts and Culture edited by Witold Sadowski (University of Warsaw) and Francesco Marsciani (University of Bologna) and composed of selected best papers will be proposed for publication to the editorial board of the Brepols series: Studia Traditionis Theologiae Explorations in Early and Medieval Theology.

The litany derives from ancient religious rites. Throughout the ages, however, it spread across many countries and became much more than a mere form of prayer. As has been demonstrated by the recent studies on the litanic forms in European poetry it is possible to reconstruct a cultural and literary map of European regions that traces the level of their participation in and contribution to the litanic tradition. The litanic verse is marked by religious semantics, but it also bears the mark of inter-European divisions, such as those experienced between and within various denominations, countries and nations, as well as the original folk cultures. Therefore, the litany may be of interest to scholars specializing in areas such the emergence of national identities and religious minorities, the crossover between art and religion as well as between music and poetry, the history of liturgy and spiritual life, the cultural exchanges between various nations.

Papers focusing on the following perspectives are especially welcome:
— the evolution and status of the litany and litanic prayers in the different rites;
— the litany in musical compositions from the historical and theoretical point of view;
— litanic songs in the history of regional religious cultures;
— litany-like enumerations in folk poetry;
— litanic rhythm in the literature of the ancient Near East (e.g. Syrian and Coptic poetry and prose) as well as in Greek literature (pre-Byzantine and Byzantine, Christian and non-Christian, poetry and prose, various genres);

— litany-like conventions in Jewish liturgical poetry;
— the poetics of litanic and pseudo-litanic texts in the light of philosophy (e.g. the philosophy and theology of language, numbers, names, repeatability);
— litanic rhythm in mystical treatises, letters, and memoirs as well as in philosophical texts;
— the litany as reflected in visual and performing arts.


Submission of a paper implies that the work has not been published formerly and that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. The full paper should contain at least 5000 words and not exceed 7500 words including footnotes.

Initial acceptance of an abstract does not automatically mean that a paper will be selected for publication. All papers must be submitted in clear English with correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. They should also meet the criteria mentioned above and the guidelines of the Brepols series: Studia Traditionis Theologiae. The final decision regarding publication of the book will be made by the editorial board of the series.

Abstract proposals (max. 500 words) and a short bio should be submitted in English. The final deadline for submission of abstracts is June 20, 2018. All proposals and queries should be sent to: and 

All abstracts will be evaluated by the review committee based on the following criteria: originality, potential significance, clarity of presentation, interest, and consistency with the thematic scope of the book as presented herein. Notifications of acceptance or denial will be e-mailed to authors by July 5, 2018. Authors of selected abstracts will be expected to submit a paper in English by December 10, 2018.


Published by ameliahyde

Amelia Roché Hyde holds an MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she studied cross-cultural artistic traditions of medieval Spain, taking an in-depth look at the context and role of Spanish ivories within sacred spaces. Her favorite medieval art objects are ones that are meant to be handled and touched, and she has researched ivories, textiles, and illuminated manuscripts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The British Museum. Amelia is the Research Assistant at The Met Cloisters.

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