Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
Hagiographica Septentrionalia


In Co-operation

Glossa ry.
The Classical Association of Finland
The Finnish Historical Society

"Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother":
Violence Against Parents in the North of Europe

Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences

Nordic exploratory workshops

Workshop 1: Nordic Family, Violence and Modernity
Tampere, May 22-24, 2014
The first workshop focuses on the concepts and challenges of family and family violence within the early modern and modern Northern Europe. This workshop should facilitate to provide a background to violence against parents, which has been a yet underdeveloped area of research in Scandinavian and European modern studies.
Workshop Program

Workshop 2: Parricide in past and present Nordic society
Oxford, Oxford Brookes University (St. Anne's College, University of Oxford) 6.-7. July 2015
The second workshop will focus more strictly to violence by children against parents, parricide and other non-deadly forms of violence will be included.
Workshop Program


The workshop series aims at organizing two multidisciplinary workshops to bring together studies on violence against parents in the past and present-day societies to reveal long-term patterns and origins of parental abuse. We believe this will facilitate new research in the important field of violence studies. The workshops shall prepare a group of dedicated researchers for undertaking a larger research project on violence against parents in Northern Europe.

Violence against parents, understood as any act by children that intimidates the parents and is aimed at hurting them, is a phenomenon that has become high profile in recent years. The conclusion from of research is that violence against parents constituted a recent phenomenon attributed to the crisis if family policies or parenting styles or communication problems between parents and their children. However, sociologists, criminologists and psychologists rarely attempt explanations beyond present-day external/internal factors, treating violence against parents as a very modern phenomenon. Research in the history of domestic violence though reveals that parent abuse and parricide were very familiar for the past societies and they took place in completely different context of patriarchal family organization and strict prohibition of abuse against parents. The secular and religious (Christian) teachings in early modern Europe based relationships of parents and children on the fourth commandment and all European states harshly prosecuted parricides (the most abominable crime) and any physical and verbal violence against. In the meantime specialists in the history of homicide indicated that the amount of parricides was as low as in the present day societies and accounted for the same 2-6% of all homicides.

This workshop series is initiated by specialists in early modern Nordic histories to study forms and methods of intra-family violence at the origins of modern states' formation and bring this study up to the present day: to map out the state of the art of the research on family violence and especially on violence by children against their parents, to bring together the current specialists, to compare early modern and current ideas and to suggest further points of research. The main research themes include attitudes to family power relations and hierarchies, permissibility of the usage of violence in the family, forms and types of violence against parents, gender-based analysis of violence against parents, patricides and matricides.

Undated draft for Seitsemän veljestä by Axeli Gallen-Kallela

Organizing committee:

Dr. Raisa Maria Toivo (University of Tampere, Finland)
Prof. Marianna Muravyeva (Oxford Brookes University, UK)
Ass. Prof. Louise Nyholm Kallestrup (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
Dr. Karin Hassan Jansson (University of Uppsala, Sweden)
Prof. Liv Helene Willumsen (University of Tromsø, Norway)

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