Call for Articles: Verging on the polemical: Patterns of embedding and escalation of religious polemics across medieval genres and cultures

Deadline Abstracts: 15. June 2017

Deadline Articles: 31. October 2017

Publication: July 2018

Journal: Medieval Worlds. Interdisciplinary and transcultural studies (Peer review, Open access), special thematic section edited by Junior-Prof. Dr. Sita Steckel, Medieval history (WWU Münster).

Verging on the polemical: Issues and questions

In past research on religious polemics during the medieval centuries, the perception of religious identities and of specific religious groups has been a central interest. As a result, texts or images which were wholly dedicated to engagement with opponents and their positions, such as the „Adversus Judaeos“ tradition in Latin Christian culture, have been a particular focus.

Yet in recent publications, concepts and strategies of „polemicizing“ themselves have been revisited – and it is clear that the different overlapping research fields interested in medieval religious polemics still have to find a shared terminology and methodology. Especially if we hope to study pre-modern religious polemics in their entangled and connected histories, the highly variable structures of polemical utterances are thus of central interest. This perspective invites a new look at the wealth of texts which only contain polemical passages, or combine different, more and less aggressive rhetorical registers. Continue reading “Call for Articles: Verging on the polemical: Patterns of embedding and escalation of religious polemics across medieval genres and cultures”

Report: Training school “Passionate Devotions. Emotions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Religious Texts, Images and Music”, WWU Münster, 26.-28.4.2017

https://costis1301.hypotheses.org/215

Training school “Passionate Devotions”, Muenster, 26.-28.4.2017

Workshop “The Religious Field in the Long Fifteenth Century: Framing Religious Transformation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe”, Münster, 26.-28.5.2016

The workshop is a cooperation between COST Action IS1301 “New Communities of Interpretation. Contexts, Strategies and Processes of Religious Transformation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe“ and the Cluster of Excellence ”Religion and Politics in Pre-Modern and Modern Cultures“ at Münster. The COST Action IS1301 is a network uniting over 100 researchers from 22 countries working on religion in the long fifteenth century. Especially in its Workgroup 1 (“Theoretical approaches”), the network challenges existing national narratives of late medieval and Reformation history and literature, and aims to create new European narratives explaining the profound transformations of the period.

The workshop assembles members of the COST Action “New Communities of Interpretation”, the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” and external guests. It invites reflection on the historiography and on extant and possible theoretical frameworks for mid- and long-term religious transformation. By frameworks, we mean ways (including historical narration) in which macro-historical, societal processes and problems can be linked to the micro-historical level that our research typically aims for.

We suggest that recent sociological approaches to religious change make for particularly interesting frameworks, as they may offer a platform for interdisciplinary debate. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of the religious field as a starting point, the workshop will discuss historical actor constellations and “migrations of the holy” to test the potential of differentiation theory as an interdisciplinary framework.

The programme is downloadable here: The Religious Field_Flyer_web

 

 

Call for Papers – IMC Leeds 2016 – “Bad religio/n. Polemics linking religions, religious orders and religious communities”

In recent research, a much-needed insistence on religious diversity as a medieval phenomenon has come to the fore, and many studies have highlighted emerging concepts and practices of tolerance, pluralism and peaceful coexistence between religions during the Middle Ages. For all its advantages, however, this approach leaves out large segments of the medieval imagination – generally, the focus lies very firmly on inter-religious relations, even though many experiences of diversity within largely Christianized or Islamicized areas would have been intra-religious, i.e. experiences of diverging observances, religious orders, ‚sects‘ or other informal conventions shaping religious communities. Secondly, the decided emphasis on forms of pluralism foregoes to make use of a large and equally important area: An intriguing avenue towards evaluating medieval concepts of religious diversity may lie in analyzing polemics, invectives and scornful comparisons between religious groups. Typically studied for the light they throw on the image or stereotype of one specific group, such polemics have seldom been seen as (albeit negative) expressions of diversity.

Continue reading “Call for Papers – IMC Leeds 2016 – “Bad religio/n. Polemics linking religions, religious orders and religious communities””

Opening congress of COST Action IS1301: New Communities of Interpretation. Contexts, Strategies and Processes of Religious Transformation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

As I am writing this, the first Congress of a new European network is being opened: Since last September, COST Action IS1301 has been under way, with over 100 researchers setting out to study ‘Contexts, Strategies and Processes of Religious Transformation’. Many people working on religion and/or book history in the Late Medieval and Early Modern period will already have heard of this COST Action, but for those who haven’t, some basic facts: Continue reading “Opening congress of COST Action IS1301: New Communities of Interpretation. Contexts, Strategies and Processes of Religious Transformation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe”

Conference “Putative Purities: Transcultural Dimensions of Master Narratives in Religion”, 16th – 18th of December, 2013

In a few days, I will attend a conference at Heidelberg with an excitingly trans-/intercultural focus, with many papers on Asian religion. On more familiar ground, it notably includes Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge), one of my favorite Early Modern Historians. Her keen eye for the problems inherent in theoretical frameworks in the history of religion should make for an interesting paper1. Also, of course, the indefatigable Antje Flüchter will be there, visiting from her new position at the University of Oslo. Here’s the programme….

Continue reading “Conference “Putative Purities: Transcultural Dimensions of Master Narratives in Religion”, 16th – 18th of December, 2013″

  1. See especially Alexandra Walsham, The Reformation and ‘The Disenchantment of the World’ Reassessed’, The Historical Journal, 51, 2 (2008), pp. 497–528. doi:10.1017/S0018246X08006808; an article entitled ‘Migrations of the Holy’ is forthcoming in the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. []

“New religious histories sessions” for Leeds IMC 2014

The “New religious histories” sessions for the upcoming International Medieval Congress Leeds 2014, in a slightly revised version.

Continue reading ““New religious histories sessions” for Leeds IMC 2014″

„Monasticisms and mendicancies“ workshop at Sheffield, 22. November 2013

In my attempts to understand the contentious and colorful world of thirteenth-century religion, I am at the moment trying to build closer links to historians of the monastic and mendicant orders. Beyond the busy German scene and blogosphere, an all-around felicitous connection to colleagues in Northern England has developed up recently, which has led to a proposal for four exciting sessions and a roundtable on ’New religious histories’ at Leeds next year, co-organized by Amanda Power (Sheffield), Melanie Brunner (Leeds), and myself. More on that to follow.

Diversitas Religionum

Das Blog dokumentiert sporadisch Aktivitäten und Teilergebnisse des Forschungsprojekts ‘Diversitas religionum. Zur Grundlegung eines Diskurses religiöser Diversität im 13. Jahrhundert’ dokumentieren, das ich leite und gemeinsam mit zwei Nachwuchswissenschaftler/innen seit 2012/13 betreibe. Forschungsfragen betreffen die großenteils polemische Aushandlung von Diversität im Innern der lateinischen Kirche des Mittelalters, aber auch interreligiöse Diversität. Es werden einerseits Ordensvielfalt, Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Kirche und häretischen Strömungen und Konkurrenz zwischen Klerus und Orden thematisiert. Andererseits fragen wir, inwiefern sich im lateinisch-christlichen Bereich polemische Diskurse zwischen Religionen und Glaubensgemeinschaften – dem lateinischen Christentum, anderen Kirchen, häretischen Gruppen, dem Judentum und dem Islam – mit innerchristlichen Wahrnehmungen verknüpfen. Diese Frage nach religiöser Polemik als Ort interreligiöser Verknüpfung soll in Kooperation mit Kolleg/innen aus dem In- und Ausland für auch über den engeren Forschungsbereich der lateinisch-christlichen Kirche des Spätmittelalters hinaus entwickelt werden. Im Rahmen des Blogs kündigen wir derzeit vor allem Veranstaltungen an.