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Naujienos iliustracija 2 March 2023

Call for papers for Adolfas Damusis Political Studies Days at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania

“It is a great pleasure to help others in this narrow path of life given to you.”
Juozas Kazickas

Charity and philanthropy have existed for thousands of years and are known in various cultures and religions. Over time, philanthropy has evolved beyond the momentary act of helping those in need and focuses on long-term changes determining social welfare. The concept of modern philanthropy is broad and complex. At the same time, the idea of sharing one's time, talents, or wealth based on religious imperatives and altruism coexist with rational or even philanthropy driven by egoistic motives.

15th-16th centuries historical sources testify examples of charity in Lithuania. The Catholic and other religious brotherhoods helped artisans to treat their impoverished, disaster-stricken members and organized their funerals. In later centuries, shelters for the poor, beggars, and asylum seekers were built near the parish churches. Finally, in the 19th century, charitable organizations began operating on Lithuanian territory.

Private institutions, under the patronage of Catholic priests and clergy of other denominations, dominated the charity field of national communities during the pre-WW2 period. However, when the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania in 1940, charitable activities were banned, and the Lithuanian tradition of philanthropy could only develop in the diaspora.

In the late 20th century, after Lithuania regained its independence, the availability and quality of social services declined, especially assistance provided by emigrants, and international funds became essential.

As paternalistic attitudes are gradually fading in contemporary Lithuania, one can observe private initiatives for common well-being and changes in Lithuania and the world. An excellent example of this trend is the multifaceted support for Ukraine, which is experiencing Russian aggression.

Against the backdrop of the current situation, the Adolfas Damušis Democracy Studies Center at the National Library of Lithuania, in cooperation with Caritas of Lithuania, invites you to reflect on the phenomenon of charity and philanthropy and its expression in a conference and a practical seminar called "Anatomy of generosity: the tradition of philanthropy in Lithuania and the diaspora."

The event will take place on June 22-23, 2023, at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania.

We invite researchers from various fields (historians, philosophers, theologians, sociologists, economists, etc.) and practitioners (entrepreneurs, social activists, social workers, etc.) to submit proposals for presentations on the following topics:

  • Ethics of gift giving/philanthropy, religion, and morality
  • Donors, recipients, and outcome
  • From charity to social change
  • Patronage
  • Diaspora philanthropy and philanthropy in the diaspora
  • Business involvement in philanthropy
  • Philanthropy communication and management
  • Philanthropy success and failure stories
  • Global philanthropy trends and Lithuania
  • Other

The estimated duration of the paper is 20 minutes.

We will wait for your applications (paper title, abstracts (up to 500 words) and short biographies) until April 7, 2023 at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We will notify you about the selected applications by April 24.

For questions, call +370 615 94220 or write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See you in June!