Conference: Bogomilism (and related movements), the Culture of Peace and the Contact of Civilizations in the Middle Ages

International conference, held in the  Bulgarian Cultural Center in Skopje, Macedonia, September 30, 2009.

Skopje 1000, 14 A, Petar Arsov Street// Tel. +389 2 324 6676  Fax: +389 2 324 6675 Web:

Working languages French and English. 

       In the time of an acute religious rivalry in the Middle Ages Bogomilism revealed itself as culture of non-violence, of spiritual development stimulating the communication of different cultures and civilizations. In many aspects it was a real process of syncresis among remote cultures and civilizations, close to the actual French notion “interculturalité,” and in some way a precursor of the actual intercultural dialogue of the European Union. The study and discussion on this experience could generate some practical approaches how to overcome the religious fanaticism which is one of the basic sources of contemporary terrorism.


Bulgaria  Prof. Georgi Vasilev: Bulgarian apocryphal and bogomil images in the English medieval culture ; Dr. Erica Lazarova: The moral  philosophy of  Bogomils and Cathars

Canada Dr. Michael George (St. Thomas University, Fredericton): Bogomilism: Religion, adaption and non-conformity

France  Prof. Alain Vuillemin (Université d'Artois - P.R.E.S., Université  Paris-Est): Le retour du bogomilisme dans le lettres et les arts en Bulgarie et en France

Republic of Macedonia Prof. Vera Antich: Etudes actuelles sur le bogomilisme en Macédoine;  Dr. Maja Angelovska-Panova: Vegetaniarism in the discourse of the Bogomil-Cathar dogmatism

UK Dr. Claire Taylor (UK, University of Nottingham): Bogomilism and Catharism in current Western scholarship

Conference coordinator: Georgi Vasilev Ph.D., D.Litt. Professor of European and Medieval Studies, State University of Library Studies and IT. Sofia 1784, 119 Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd.
E-mail: Web:

The conference participants Prof. Georgi Vasilev; Dr. Erica Lazarova; Dr. Claire Taylor, Dr. Michael George, joined par correspondance by Prof. Nadezhda Dragova (Bulgaria) and by Prof. Thomas Butler  (USA) addressed the following appeal to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI:



Your Holiness,

 We address you with the appeal to continue the great moral initiative of your predecessor Pope John Paul II, who in the year 2000 made an apology on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church to all who suffered injustice during the crusades or were persecuted with fire and sword in times past on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church. On 30 September 2009 we took part in a scientific conference held in the town of Skopje on the following topic: BOGOMILISM AND RELATED MOVEMENTSCULTURE OF PEACE AND CONTACTS OF CIVILIZATIONS IN THE MIDDLE AGES, in the context of which it was remembered that this year marks the 800th anniversary of the beginning of the Albigensian Crusade, instigated by Pope Innocent III and lead by the barons of Northern France against the Cathar civilization of Provence. As a result of this ruthless repression the remarkable pre-Renaissance Cathar culture was destroyed – a culture that impressed Dante Alighieri and gave to the world the poetry of the troubadours. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people were massacred because they were declared heretics, although they actually practiced the Christian faith.

 We appeal to you to make an apology for this dark deed, which will remain as a heavy legacy in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, unless a step to redeem it is taken.

 From the very first days of your pontificate you declared your commitment to the peaceful dialogue between peoples and religions towards a greater humanization of the world. An apology to the victims of the Albigensian Crusade will be yet another confirmation of this inspiring commitment.

Prof. Georgi Vasilev, Sofia

Prof. Nadezhda Dragova, Sofia

Prof. Thomas Butler, Boston

Dr. Claire K. Taylor, Nottingham 

Dr. Erika Lazarova, Sofia

Dr. Michael George, Frederictown, Canada