Jakob Speigl † (1933-2023)

Prof. Dr Jakob Speigl passed away on 27 November 2023 in Sinzing (Regensburg district) at the age of 90. Speigl was Professor of Ancient Church History, Patrology and Christian Archaeology at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Würzburg from 1972 to 2001. He was a member of the group of authors since the beginning of the research project on the History of Councils and took part in several conferences of the Society for History Research of Councils (here is a picture of the young professor at the symposium in Thessaloniki - front row, second from left).     
Click here for the obituary of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Würzburg. R.I.P.

New publications on the History of the Church Councils

Conference about the decree "Inter Mirifica" of Vatican II

4 December 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the promulgation of "Inter Mirifica", the decree of the Second Vatican Council on the means of social communication. This document initiated the universal church's modern and systematic reflection on communication. The Roman Universities Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Pontificia Università Lateranense and Università Pontificia Salesiana have organised a joint conference from 7 - 9 November to mark the occasion. Here is the programme with further details.

Simposium about Nicaea (325) - Council of Ecumenism?

Nizäa (325) – Konzil der Ökumene?

Die Rezeption der „Großen Synode“ in Geschichte und Gegenwart

Symposion, Bamberg, 25.–26. September 2023


The Programme

Archbishop Agostino Marchetto appointed Cardinal

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, an internationally renowned expert on Vatican II whom he personally holds in high esteem and whom he even considers the "più̀ grande ermeneuta del Concilio", as a cardinal in the consistory of 30 September. In addition to his long career as a Vatican diplomat, the 83-year-old cardinal has been intensively involved in the reception of Vatican II and has always spoken out trenchantly in numerous publications, advocating an interpretation that Pope Benedict XVI. in his famous address to the Curia of 22 December 2005 expressed, that a "hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture must be contrasted with a hermeneutic of reform, of the renewal of the Church as a subject, which the Lord has given us, while preserving continuity". Marchetto is deeply committed to the 'Konziliengeschichte' project and has repeatedly presented papers at the Society for the Study of Conciliar History conferences since 2000. Most recently, in 2018, he spoke on "La minoranza al Vaticano II (1962-1965) secondo il 'Diario' del suo Segretario Generale, Pericle Felici" at the simposio "Council and Minority"  held at the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce and Campo Santo Teutonico.

New Publications

Johannes Helmrath, Wege der Konzilsforschung. Studien zur Geschichte des Konzils von Basel (1431–1449) und anderer Konzilien. Ausgewählte Aufsätze Band 2, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2022. XII + 844 pp.


After the first volume of Johannes Helmrath's selected essays already appeared in 2013 and collected "Wege des Humanismus", the present volume unites studies by the author on the history of councils. 
Councils, from Nicaia to Vatican II, are collegially organised legislative bodies of the Church and at the same time, as meeting places of spiritual and secular elites, key historical moments of a special kind. The present volume contains selected studies by Helmrath on historical council research. The contributions have been revised, and supplements and an index have been added. The thematic focus is on the fascinating and overlong Council of Basel (1431-1449), the last of the so-called reform councils, flanked by studies on the IV Lateranum and the Councils of Constance (1414-1418) and Ferrara-Florence-Rome (1438-1445). Problems of organisation and communication, prosopography, reform and theology, comparability with secular assemblies, intellectual hub function etc. are analysed. In diachronic longitudinal section, the liturgy of the Gospel Book, church reform and the choice of location of councils are examined (from the publisher's information).

Symposium on the Council of Pavia-Siena (1423-1424)

Ini consilium, coge concilium!  A Seicento anni dal Concilio di Pavia e Siena (1423-1424)

Pavia 5-7 Settembre 2023

  • Martedì 5 Settembre

Ore 15-18 Auditorium di San Tommaso, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Piazza del Lino, 2


- Maria Pavesi, Vicedirettrice del Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici

- Don Fabio Besostri, Facoltà Teologica dell’Italia Settentrionale


- Daniela Rando, Da Costanza a Pavia. Le ragioni di un concilio

Pausa caffè

- Alberto Cadili, Il concilio e la città

Visita del complesso storico dell’Università

Ore 21 Almo Collegio Borromeo, Sala Bianca, Piazza Collegio Borromeo, 9

- Alberto Melloni, La storia infinita: concezioni ed esperienze del concilio nelle chiese

  • Mercoledì 6 Settembre

Auditorium di San Tommaso, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Piazza del Lino, 2


Ore 9-10.45

- Phillip H. Stump, Reform in Head and/or Members at the Council of Constance (1414-1418) - online

- Thomas Frank, Argomentare la riforma. A proposito di alcuni testi conciliari dell’inverno 1423/1424

Pausa caffè. Visita al Palazzo S. Tommaso, Sala delle Sibille

Ore 11.15-13

- Sebastian Kolditz, L’unione tra latini e greci da Costanza a Basilea: il luogo del concilio di Pavia-Siena in un processo di avvicinamento

- Cécile Caby, Predicazione e riforma dei religiosi al concilio di Pavia-Siena: un’occasione di scandalo?


Ore 15.15-17 Sala conferenze, Basilica di S. Pietro in Ciel d’Oro, Piazza S. Pietro in Ciel d’Oro

- Wolfgang Decker, “Johannes infeliciter electus…in papam” und “Martinus temporum suorum felicitas”. Der “Übergang” vom Pisanischen zum Römischen Papsttum, auch bei den Banken? Alberti, Borromei, Cambini

- Davide Scotto, Contenere l’“esaltazione degli ebrei”. Martino V e il concilio dopo i taqqanot di Forlì (1418)

Pausa caffè. Visita alla basilica di S. Pietro in Ciel d’Oro

Ore 18

- Jessika Nowak, Die Kardinäle auf dem Konzil

  • Giovedì 7 Settembre

Aula Moretti, Almo Collegio Borromeo, Piazza Collegio Borromeo, 9


Ore 9-10.45

- Tobias Daniels, Sigismund und das Reich

- Jacob Langeloh, Preacher, Chronicler, Speaker, Ambassador. Reflecting on the roles and rhetoric of John of Ragusa at the councils of Pavia-Siena and Basel

Pausa caffè

Ore 11.15-12.30

- Mariarosa Cortesi, Intellettuali sulla scena dei Concilî fra dispute, intrighi e diplomazia


Discussants: Michele Pellegrini, Giacomo Pirani


 Comitato scientifico: Wolfgang Decker, Thomas Frank, Daniela Rando

 Segreteria del convegno: dott. Alberto Cadili, alcadili@libero.it