Friday, January 16, 2009


c. 400 – c. 1550

School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, University of Manchester
8-9 June 2009

Keynote Speaker: Dr Anthony Bale (Birkbeck)

‡ Prayer, pilgrimage, sacrifice, private and public devotion ‡

All these might be safely thought to fall in to the category of ‘religion’. But does this category, particularly as it is understood by modern scholars, correspond with the practices and beliefs held by the premodern peoples we hope to understand? What were the roles of religion, belief and superstition in medieval cultures? This conference seeks to explore the boundaries of these categories, examining the diverse and often ambiguous ways in which religions, beliefs and superstitions become central to the ways in which peoples define and understand themselves and their communities. Moreover, what methodological presuppositions do twenty-first century medieval scholars bring to the study of religions and beliefs? What do we stand to learn from each other?

The conference committee invites proposals from postgraduate students and recent post-doctoral researchers in all disciplines working on any aspect of medieval cultures. Papers from researchers working on non-Christian cultures are particularly encouraged.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Religion and Morality
• The impact of religious dicta on the lives of ordinary people
• Philosophy and Political Thought
• Constructing religious ‘Others’
• Intersections of Muslim, Jewish and Christian Beliefs
• Deviance, Heresy, Magic, Popular Belief
• Literary and Material Culture
• Architecture, Sacred Space and its Uses
• Religion and Performance

Abstracts of no more than 250 words for 20 minute papers should be submitted to by 14 February 2009.


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