Invitation to the book launch of "Stanisław Konarski before the Holy Office (1769-1771)" by Paweł Zając OMI

Venue: Lithuanian Institute of History, Tilto St. 17, Vilnius, 320 aud.

Date: May 29 2024, 2 p.m.

Participants: Prof. Dr Hab Paweł Zając OMI (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań), Assoc. Prof. Dr Robertas Jurgaitis (Lithuanian Institute of History), Assoc. Prof. Dr Ramunė Šmigelskytė-Stukienė (Lithuanian Institute of History, National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania)

Fr. Stanisław Konarski (1700–1773), Piarist, was one of the most outstanding figures in Polish intellectual life in the 18th century. His last book “O religii poczciwych ludzi” [On the Religion of Honest Men] (1769) was read with great interest for over two hundred years – first by its contemporary readers, then by historians of ideas and researchers of the Enlightenment. In both cases, the book did not cease to attract attention due to the atmosphere of the scandal, which at the end of the Konarski’s life had reached wide circles – from the Warsaw nunciature to the Dicastery of the Holy Office in Rome. The basic facts related to the trial, which took place in the Roman Curia, were known to Polish historiography, but thus far only superficially. Hitherto unknown documents from the archives of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (former Holy Office) allow for the accurate reconstruction of the turbulent history of a book which in fact risked being included in the Index of Forbidden Books, even though it was written in defence of Christianity against 18th-century deism.

Paweł Zając OMI (dr hab.) is professor of history at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań,

Faculty of Theology, member of the Polish Association of 18th Century Studies and of the

Editorial board of the series “Acta Nuntiaturae Polonae” published by the Polish Academy of

Arts and Sciences in Cracow. In his research, he focuses on the history of papal diplomacy, relations between Church and state and the Catholic Enlightenment. Recently he has completed a grant of National Science Centre (NCN) 2019/35/B/HS3/02063, which resulted in publication of the book “Stanisław Konarski before the Holy Office (1769-1771)”. The book is in Polish, with transcription of archival sources in Italian and Latin, and their Polish translation, and the summary in English.

The book launch is an event of the Lithuanian History Institute's Long-Term Research Program “The Historical Development of the Statehood of Lithuania (the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) in a European Context (13th–18th Centuries) (2022–2026)”.