Call for Proposals for the BETH Festschrift

Our collaboration partner BETH (Bibliothèques Européennes de Théologie, the Association of European Theological Libraries) welcomes proposals for its Festschrift on The recent history of theological libraries and library associations in Europe, to be published on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 2022.


Many of the European associations of theological libraries started in the 20th century, in a time when nearly all countries had many theological faculties, seminaries, monasteries and abbeys and other church institutions with fine libraries.

Within a century this has changed dramatically. Many theological faculties and seminaries were closed or merged with others, abbeys and monasteries were dissolved.

There are various reasons for this:

  • religious: the secularization in Europe.
  • political: World War II and its aftermath, the Soviet rule in Eastern Europe and “die Wende” in the nineties.
  • technical: the rise of computerization and Internet.
  • and last but not least financial constraints.


The planned book should describe the history of theological and religious libraries in the context of these developments. This could be done by case studies on special libraries, or on religious orders/denominations, by a description of the developments in individual countries or by describing differences between countries etc. Preferably, articles are not limited to an account of the history of a library or institution, but include, in such survey, focuses on specific problems, challenges and opportunities in the recent developments (and present situation) of theological libraries. Also, such special issues can be the primary subject discussed in an article.

Call for Proposals

You are all invited to submit a proposal for an article in this book. Contributions by librarians, church historians, religious scholars are all welcome. The ideal article counts between 8,000 and 10,000 words, but shorter contributions are also welcome.

Please send in your proposal (max. 500 words) for an article before September 1, 2020. The full text of the articles must be submitted before 1 June 2021.

Proposals and articles should be written in English. If that is impossible for you while you still think you can make an important contribution to the book, please contact the BETH board. Depending on what further proposals come in, we will see if a solution is possible.

Please send in your proposal to the Secretary of the BETH board Matina Ćurić, email


All proposals and articles will be assessed by an expert editorial team consisting of :

  • Dr Michelle Behr, former president of ABCF (l’Association des Bibliothèques Chrétiennes de France).
  • Dr. Penelope Hall, board member of ABTAPL (Association of British Theological and Philosophical Libraries) and former board member of BETH.
  • Prof.dr. Leo Kenis, former academic librarian of the Maurits Sabbe library of the KU Leuven.
  • Dr. Marek Rostkowski, former Director of the Biblioteca della Pontificia Università Urbaniana and former board member of URBE (Unione Romana Biblioteche Ecclesiastiche) and of BETH.