Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Early Modern Parish Church

CONFERENCE, 6 – 8 April, 2009
Worcester College, Oxford


Across Europe, the parish church has stood for centuries at the centre of local
communities; it was the focal point of its religious life, the rituals performed there
marked the stages of life from the cradle to the grave. Nonetheless the church itself
artistically and architecturally stood apart from the parish community. It was often the largest and only stone-built building in a village; it was legally distinct being subject to canon law, as well as being consecrated for the celebration of religious rites. The buildings associated with the ‘cure of souls’ were sacred sites or holy places, where humanity interacted with the divine. The accretions of the centuries make the parish church a palimpsest which provides a record of continuing and changing attitudes towards religion and sacred space. Linked to the AHRC funded ‘The Early Modern Parish Church and the Religious Landscape’ research project, this conference will provide a forum to assess the role and significance of the parish church in the early modern period. This is intended to be an interdisciplinary conference and papers from a range of disciplines are welcome, including art historians, architectural historians, legal historians, archaeologists, as well as historians and ecclesiastical historians. Rather than providing a series of case studies of particular churches, it is hoped that this conference will facilitate a better understanding of the evolution and importance of this religious building within communities across Europe during the confessional, economic, political and social changes of the early modern period.

Andrew Spicer
Oxford Brookes University

If you are interested in offering a 20 minute paper for this conference, please send a title, an abstract of no more than 250 words and, if you wish, a short CV (no more than one side of A4) to The deadline for submissions is
30 November 2008. Further details about the conference will appear in due course on
the project website.

Further details about the AHRC ‘The Early Modern Parish Church and the Religious
Landscape’ project can be found at:


Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from