Call for Applications: Training School, Antwerp, 29-31 Oct 2014

Deadline for Applications: 1 July 2014

COST Action IS1301 „New Communities of Interpretation. Contexts, Strategies and Processes of Religious Transformation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe“ is a research network uniting over 120 researchers from 21 European countries. To contribute to the creation of research networks within and outside academia, it furthers connections between experienced scholars, regional and national archives and libraries as well as the upcoming generations of researchers.

The COST Action is proud to present a Training school on „Production and Use of Religious Texts in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe“, held in cooperation with the University of Antwerp, and organized by August den Hollander (Antwerp/Amsterdam) and Sita Steckel (Münster). The event is highly focused on the IS1301 outlook, but includes a broad range of subtopics from typography to religious prints, from seventeenth century religious manuscripts to Antwerp’s tradition of book production.

As the material culture of religious texts, the history of writing and printing and cultures of religious reading are essential to our approach, half of the sessions will be held in collaboration with the heritage collections of the town of Antwerp, world book capital. Antwerp will host a prestigious double exhibition from September 2014 to January 2015. One part will run in the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) orbiting around ‘Sacred Places and Pilgrimage’, the other will take place in the Hendrik Conscience Library and will focus on ‘Sacred Books’. The chosen topics will allow us to discuss cultural dynamics and strategies of appropriation within lay formal and informal communities, instead of merely focussing on texts and objects with fixed meanings.

Ten Ph.D. or advanced M.A. candidates can be offered the opportunity to participate in lectures and visits during a three-day event and to present their own research. Based on preparatory reading and lectures, participants will discuss with local and external experts, visit the specialized exhibitions and give presentations.

 

Programme 

29.10.2014 – Location: Museum Plantin Moretus

9:00-10:15 Antwerp and its role in the religious book production (Prof. dr. Hubert Meeus)

The first book printed in Antwerp was Simon van Venlo’s Boexken van der officien ofte dienst der missen (1481), a book explaining the catholic mass. From then until the end of the hand-press period Antwerp remained a center for the production of religious books in all shapes and kinds not only for the Netherlands but for the whole world. In my lecture I will treat the evolution and diversity of religious printing in Antwerp.

10:15-10:30 Coffee break

10:30-11:30 The typographical title page and its development between c. 1500 and c. 1800 (Dr. Goran Proot)

This workshop will focus on the development of the layout and design of Early Modern typographical title pages of religious books produced over a period of about 300 years, especially of Bibles. In contrast to the first fifty years of printing, the changes in the design of title pages seem to be much less radical. With examples from the Antwerp book production between 1500 and 1800, it will be explained how printers constantly reinvented the physical appearance of their products, and what the implications of that process are for scholars dealing with Early Modern religious books.

11:30-12:30 Publishers’ Strategies: the Verdussen Family, Antwerp 1589-1689 (Dr. Stijn van Rossem)

In this lecture, Dr. Van Rossem will explore the (mainly religious book) production and (inter)national publishing strategies of the Verdussen family, an Antwerp based family of printers from the 16th to the 17th century.

12:30-14:00 Lunch at the Museum Plantin Moretus

14:00-14:45 Guided tour through the Exhibition devoted to the unpublished polyglot Bible by Balthasar Moretus (Dr. Dirk Imhof)

14:45-16:00 Demonstration of a printing press at the Museum Plantin Moretus  and visit of the Museum

16:00-16:15 Refreshments

16:00-18:00 Four presentations of Training school participants’ reearch (Chair: Prof. dr. Sita Steckel)

18:00-19:00 Drinks in local pub

30.10.2014 Location: Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience

9:00-10:00 From Monastery to Market Place: The Production and Reading of Middle Dutch Bibles (Dr. Suzan Folkerts)

In 1477 two Middle Dutch Bible translations from the fourteenth century were put into print. They were given a second life – or third, or fourth, depending on the phases one wishes to discern in the afterlife of medieval texts. The transition from manuscript to print meant a transition from monastic production centres to commercial printers’ workshops, led by laymen. Also, the reception moved from a mainly religious public to a more mixed public of religious and laypeople. In this session we will investigate what marginalia and ex librises tell about the reading and the readers of these Middle Dutch Bibles. Were printed editions read differently than manuscript copies? Are there differences between the reading of the Old Testament and the New Testament? What do marginalia tell about the transition from manuscript to print?

10:00-10:15 Coffee break

10:30-11:30 Strategies of Publishing: The Case of Franciscus Costerus S.J. (Dr. Patricia Stoop)

The Jesuit Franciscus Costerus (1532–1619) was an important pioneer of the Counterreformation. In the last 25 years of his life he was a passionate preacher. His attacks against Lutheran and Calvinist theologians, as well as against rather pagan forms of Humanism, gave him the nickname Heretics’ Hammer. His sermons have been preserved in both manuscripts (2 collections) and early printed books (5 collections in 10 vols). In her contribution Patricia Stoop will investigate what these different forms of ‘publishing’ tell us about authorship, strategies of transmission, and printing and marketing of religious books.

11:30-12:30 Were Catholics in the Low Countries allowed to read the Bible? (Dr. Els Agten)

This contribution will focus on the legitimacy of vernacular Bible translations and the implementation of the so-called Regula Quarta of the Tridentine Index (1564) in the Low Countries in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. This regulation was not so strictly observed and gave birth to a multitude of discussions in the Low Countries. Particular attention will be paid to the ideas of the Messieurs de Port-Royal who were known as vehement defenders of vernacular Bible reading, and to the Catholic (Jansenist-inspired) Bible production in the Northern Low Countries.

12:30-14:00 Lunch

14:00-16:00 Guided Tour through the prestigious exhibition ‚Holy Books‘, hosted by the Hendrik Conscience Library

16:00-16:15 Refreshments

16:15-18:00 Four presentations of research by participants Training school (Chair: Prof. dr. August den Hollander)

18:00-19:00 Drinks in local pub

31.10.2014 Morning session location: Ruusbroec Institute, University of Antwerp

9:00-10:00 Manuscripts relating to spiritual and mystical culture in the 17th-century Southern Low Countries (Prof. dr. Kees Schepers)

Kees Schepers will present a recently revealed set of texts and manuscripts relating to spiritual and mystical culture in the seventeenth-century Southern Low Countries, and specifically in the Malines monastery Thabor. Two of the manuscripts that testify to spiritual life in Thabor were acquired in recent years by the Ruusbroec Institute. Remarkably, the one manuscript containing a unique mystical dialogue belonged to the sister who was the scribe of the other manuscript containing unknown sermons by the convent priest. A third, related manuscript, was discovered in Auxerre.

10:00-10:15 Coffee break

10:15-11:15 Miracles as facts. Miraculous healings from procedure to publication in the seventeenth-century Low Countries (MA Jonas van Mulder)

The seventeenth-century upsurge of miraculous saint devotion in the Southern Low Countries inspired Henri Platelle to label this era as a veritable climat miraculeux. Shrines mushroomed and miracles ascribed to saintly intercessors were reported, printed and published with devotional and apologetic alacrity. The publication of such ‘miracles’, however, required official episcopal approbation. Instigated by the decrees dictated at the Council of Trent, by the Congregation of Rites and by Urban VIII, reports of miraculous healings were subjected to extensive episcopally commissioned investigation. Jonas Van Mulder will offer an insight into the witness hearings, medical attestations and ecclesiastical commissioners’ reports that documented such procedures initiated in the dioceses of the archdiocese of Malines, and how these testimonies were subsequently translated into the published accounts.

11:15-12:00 Two presentations of research by participants Training School (Chair Prof. dr. Sita Steckel)

12:00-12:15 Evaluation (Chair Prof. dr. August den Hollander)

12:15-13:30 Lunch at mensa academica

13:30-14:00 Walking to location afternoon session

Afternoon session location: Museum aan de Stroom (MAS)

14:00-16:00 The Exhibition ‚Holy Places‘ (Guus van den Hout, M.A.)

As a guest-curator for the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp Guus Van den Hout is working on the exhibition Holy Places. He is responsible for the part of the exhibition devoted to christian pilgrimage. Judaism and Islam form the other two parts of this revolutionary show on pilgrimage. Van den Hout is excited to show you around, discuss the concept and share ideas and views on the visualisation of the idea of pelgrimage and the obvious relevance for today’s society.

16:00 End of Programme

Lecturers

Prof. Dr Hubert Meeus

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