EMoDiR is an international research group dedicated to the study of religious differences, conflicts and plurality during the early modern period. The founding members first met in 2007: All of us already had some research experience through studying religious dissents in at least one European state. Some of us had previously collaborated with one another and we were all motivated by the idea that this phenomenon needed a more thoroughgoing analysis; indeed a comprehensive study that could only be achieved through bringing together our relevant areas of expertise.
Based on a detailed investigation that transcends traditional historiographical boundaries (notably national and/or confessional), we wish to examine the discursive constructions of religious dissent and the socio-cultural practices. During the early modern period these practices defied confessional ‘orthodoxies’ that were in the process of establishing themselves within the framework of the growing apparatus of states that were evolving into something like their modern recognisable form. Accordingly, we intend to analyse not only the specific cultural practise and intersections of different forms of religious dissent but also the specific mechanisms of cultural transfer: the circulation of manuscripts and printed texts; publication strategies; the social networks and male and female dissenters; their journeys; and their meetings within heterodox environments.
Our aim is to observe not only the forms and contexts of dissent but also the political, social, and cultural strategies used by various states and churches to contain, control, and weaken diversity or to transform plurality into a political resource. The declared aims of Emodir are the promotion of national and international research projects; organising seminars, meetings, conferences and workshops; publication of its own activities; supporting interdisciplinary and international collaboration; disseminating research carried out by the group; and establishing research networks, scientific exchanges, and conventions with similarly oriented national and international research centres. Since its inception we have experimented with different forms of scholarly collaboration and as of 2011 EMoDiR has formally existed as an institutionalised research group.
Today this group unites researchers currently working on the cultural history of religious dissents in Italy, France, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Holy Roman Empire, Hungary and Transylvania. With the on-going institutionalization of Emodir, these local and national studies will be broadened and merged into a histoire croisée. The institutional base of Emodir is Verona and the chairman of the executive committee is Federico Barbierato (Verona).