Call for papers: The Churches and the City

Call for papers: The Churches and the City

An International Conference in Bologna, March 7-8, 2024

Sixty years after the Second Vatican Council, the Department of Architecture of the University of Bologna promotes an initiative on the relationship between churches and cities, with an international conference to be held in Bologna on March, 7-8, 2024. The purpose of the appointment is twofold and are its sessions as well.

Looking to the past, the conference questions the practice and relationships with which the churches have contributed to “make” cities, in reconstruction programs and in periodical waves of urbanization from the post-war period to today in different cities and in metropolitan areas of Europe. Fundamental contaminations and vehicles of cultural exchange between different contexts were friendships, magazines, ecclesial connections that have influenced the construction of cities and churches, providing a spatial interpretation to the Reform promoted by the Second Vatican Council and matured with the experiences of different groups of precursors, spread in many European contexts.

A second session scans the future from the present with its radical changes in the social structure, in the rapid overcoming of post-secularization on secularization, in the definitive unbundling between civil and religious community, between religion and Christianity. Which form, role and model for churches (and especially parish centers) for today and tomorrow? What are the consequences in the relationship between churches and cities? What are the meanings and presence for churches in contemporary cities, social and urban role, public visibility, function and understanding of places for worship for communities of believers?

In addition to the contributions of invited speakers from different European contexts, the conference is open to proposals from theologians, researchers in social and humanities studies, urban planners and architects who can participate in the event by sending an abstract of no more 400 words and main bibliography to by December 2023. These proposals will be evaluated with a peer review process.

Two recognized scientific and open access journals of the University of Bologna are committed to publish the most relevant contributions of the two days conference. Regarding the first session, a selection of the best proposals will be published by “HPA – Histories of Postwar Architecture” (, while the most inspiring and significant papers regarding the second session, will be published in “in_bo. Research and projects for the territory, the city and architecture” ( 

The conference admits only speakers in attendance to stimulate dialogue and debate with auditors which may be also remote. For both speakers and auditors, participation is free of charge.

For any other information and details, for instruction on how to submit abstracts, please refer to:


How to apply

The conference will be held in Bologna, on March 7-8, 2024. Researchers, scholars and professors in architecture, urbanism, theology, sociology, and anthropology are invited to apply for the conference.

For applying to the conference, please send to the following materials:

  • a world file with an abstract of 400 words maximum plus main bibliography
  • a world file with your brief CV, in no more than 200 words

Abstract selection will follow blind peer review processes.

The conference fee will be waived for those whose abstracts will be accepted.

Full papers will be asked after the conference. A selection of the most significant works (still selected with a blind peer review process) will be published on In_bo. Ricerche e progetti per il territorio, la città e l’architettura. The publication of the volume will be free of charge for all admitted authors and it is expected by February 2025.


December 11th, 2023 | Deadline for abstract submission
January 15th, 2024 | Notification of abstract acceptance or refusal
January 29th, 2024 | Submission of revised abstract and conference
March 7-8th, 2024 | CONFERENCE IN BOLOGNA
May 27th, 2024 | Deadline for full paper submission
July 22nd, 2024 | Notification of full papers acceptance
February 2025 | Publication of the volume

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