War is probably one of the most abject and controversial creations of humankind.  Yet, has been its omnipresent companion throughout the historical path of societies from Neolithic to date.

War became a part of human nature, moulded societies, shaped social systems, penetrated social practices, and even became the means for economical survival of some communities.  In the course of times, it adopted many shapes and configurations, reinvented rules and morale.

A great deal of effort has been put in its justification, to the extent that ideology is one of the most dynamic aspects of warfare throughout times.

The attitudes towards war are accordingly ambiguous.  Damned by some, praised by others, war has the ability to bring up the best and the worst that human nature can hold; heroism, sacrifice, genocide, atrocities.  Constantly fed by ambiguities, ultimately there is always a way to sustain its legitimacy and to find social support for war and aggression. 

The main objective of this conference is to promote a transversal discussion amongst scholars over a wide scope of subjects that war embraces, or somehow has effect on.

Sociologists, anthropologists, historians, religious, writers, archaeologists, military, and other areas of expertise have their place in this discussion around the past and present social images of war.


9-10th November 2012

Fernando Pessoa University, Porto, Portugal