Project end and outlook

Today, the FWF project “Benedictines, Church and the State in Austria, 1720-40” (P-28016) ends. A series of particularly dynamic years lie behind us, and unfortunately we have not been able to achieve all our envisaged goals. Nevertheless, significant progress has been made, and this coming year will see us (a) publish the conference volume “Central European Pasts” resulting from our 2018 conference; (b) continue data collection efforts for early modern Central Europe (; (c) publish the Pez papers data online; (d) lay the groundwork for a hybrid edition of the entirety of the Pez correspondence together with our publisher Böhlau. Also, expect members of the VEMG ( to roll up their sleeves once more and bring the edition closer to its completion.

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B. Rameder on the inventory of the Göttweig “Kunst- und Naturalienkabinett”

The Pez project also considers sources from its close thematic surroundings, for example the papers of Gottfried Bessel, abbot of Göttweig (d. 1749). Among the things recently discovered there by the project team, a hitherto unknown inventory of the Göttweig collections from the 1730s/40s is of particular interest. A first detailed description of this extraordinary source, highly relevant for the baroque understanding of natural history in Central Europe, has now been published by Bernhard Rameder, who is responsible for the abbey’s collections, in the latest “Yearbook of the Austrian Society for 18th-Century Studies”.


Conference: The querelle that wasn’t?

On 11‒13 October 2018, the conference “The querelle that wasn’t? ‘Old’ and ‘New’ in the intellectual culture of Habsburg Europe, 1700‒1750,” organized by the FWF project “Benedictines, State Reform and the Church in Austria, 1720‒40,” will take place in the “Aula” auditorium at the campus of the University of Vienna, Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna.

The Habsburg monarchy was a globally networked world power in the 17th and 18th centuries. Nevertheless, hardly any of its knowledge culture and world of ideas is present in the collective memory today. This is not least due to the fact that Western Europe is still considered the benchmark for the history of ideas and the independent developments of Central Europe have been ignored for decades. A central aspect of intellectual culture in the 18th century was the handling of tradition in all areas of knowledge. An international conference in Vienna, organized by the FWF project “Benedictines, State Reform and the Church in Austria, 1720‒40” is dedicated to the discourse of “old” and “new” in the sciences of Central Europe during the 18th century. Case studies from theology, natural sciences, philosophy, art history, philology, law, and history will paint a differentiated picture of the various possibilities of updating the past—or distancing oneself from it.


The Querelle that wasn’t? …

… “Old” and “New” in the intellectual culture of Habsburg Europe, 1700–1750.

This international conference will take place at the University of Vienna from 11–13 October 2018. It is being organized by the FWF project “Benedictines, State Reform and the Church in Austria, 1720-40”, the Institute of Austrian Historical Research at the University of Vienna, and the Department of History at the University of Vienna.

Read all the details on the event here.


Querelle(s) in Berlin

On 24 April 2018, in preparation of the conference “The querelle that wasn’t? ‘Old’ and ‘New’ in the intellectual culture of Habsburg Europe, 1700‒1750” (11‒13 October 2018, University of Vienna), Thomas Wallnig gave a lecture entitled “Das ‘Alt-Neue’ in Philosophie, Theologie und Historiographie der oberdeutschen Ordensgelehrsamkeit (Pez, Gordon, Fuhrmann)” within the workshop “Querelle(s) ‒ poetologisch und epistemologisch” at the University of Berlin. Program.