Dátum: 5. 12. 2022, predminulý rok

Authors: Mgr. Vladimír Bahna, PhD.; doc. PaedDr. Martin Dojčár, PhD.; PaedDr. Janette Gubricová, PhD.; prof. ThDr. Cyril Hišem, PhD.; Mgr. et Mgr. Kateřina Hlaváčová; Mgr. Denisa Jakubíková; Mgr. Pavol Kosnáč, MSt.; Gemma Simmonds, Ph.D., CJ; doc. ThDr. Radovan Šoltés, PhD.; PhDr. Ivana Šuhajdová, PhD.; doc. PhDr. Zdeněk Vojtíšek, Ph.D.
Editor: doc. PaedDr. Martin Dojčár, PhD.
Reviewers: prof. ThDr. Jozef Jarab, PhD. 
dr hab. Marek Rembierz, prof. UŚ
Publisher: Trnava University in Trnava, Faculty of Education
Year of publication: 2022
Number of pages: 146
ISBN: 978­‑80­‑568­‑0512­‑1 (print)
ISBN: 978­‑80­‑568­‑0513­‑8 (online)
DOI: https://doi.​org/​10.​31262/​978­‑80­‑568­‑0513­‑8/​2022 otvárané v novom okne
(obvykle ide o externý odkaz)
  ikonaDownload 1,17 MB (1,12 MiB), 15. 12. 2022



Conspiracy theories are among the most vivid sociopathological phenomena of our times. As sociocultural challenges of such an urgent kind, they require a thoughtful response from experts, state authorities and civil society.

The publication you are holding in your hands offers such a thoughtful response from experts who gathered at the international conference “How do we discern conspiracy theories?” to discuss and propose qualified suggestions for addressing conspiracism in various areas of social life, including the state administration, the education system, the third sector, churches and religious societies.

The original contribution of the conference can be considered the operationalization of the notion of discernment: Discernment is proposed as a key notion for approaching conspiracies from a prophylactic point of view.

In its religious context, the notion of discernment is closely linked to spirituality and finds its prominent application in spiritual accompaniment as developed throughout the history of Christianity. Regarding this spiritual background, an additional goal of the conference was set, that is, to identify the meaning of the concept of discernment in its traditional religious contexts, particularly the one of Ignatian spirituality, and to outline its prophylactic implementation in social and educational practice. This goal was directly addressed by papers of Radovan Šoltés and Gemma Simmonds.

Conspiracy theories are basically stories. In his introductory paper, therefore, Vladimír Bahna explains their popularity precisely based on narrativity and tellability.

Furthermore, since the term conspiracism denotes a complex phenomenon, which is at the same time “somehow related to religion,” as Zdeněk Vojtíšek points out, a good portion of contributors to these proceedings decided to approach it specifically in the relation to religion. Pavol Kosnáč further investigates religious motifs of conspiracism and demonstrates them in two current cases from the Middle East and Slovakia.

As a kind of cultural constant, conspiracy theories are far from being solely a modern phenomenon. In their studies, Kateřina Hlaváčová and Cyril Hišem provide us with historic surveys into the development of modern conspiracism both in Europe and Western Christianity, examining a few selected motifs of conspiracy culture, which are still vital in contemporary conspiracy theories.

And finally, the prophylactic and educational approaches to conspiracism, addressed in the context of integration and socialization of migrant children into regular classes in Slovak primary schools, were covered by Janette Gubricová, Martin Dojčár, Ivana Šuhajdová, and Denisa Jakubíková.

The conference proceedings make public these and other valuable research outcomes of experts from the international conference titled “How do we discern conspiracy theories?”, which was organized by the Department of Educational Studies at the Faculty of Education, Trnava University, along with the Department of Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, and the Hussite Theological Faculty at Charles University in Prague. The conference was held on September 29, 2022, at the Trnava University in Trnava, Slovakia, and was realized as a part of the research project KEGA no. 016TTU‑4/2021 Spirituality Accompaniment Program for University Teachers.


Conspiracy theories, discernment, religion, spirituality, prevention.