Call for applications: Training school “Passionate Devotions. Emotions in religious texts, images and music in late medieval and early modern Europe”, Muenster, 26.-28. April 2017

Deadline for Applications: 15. December, 2016

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 150 researchers from 24 European countries. To contribute to the creation of research networks with

Wierix, Christ shooting arrows (Wellcome Library, London)

Wierix, Christ shooting arrows

in 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 „Passionate Devotions. Emotions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Texts, Images and Music“, held in cooperation with the University of Münster. With this theme, the Training school aims to establish an interdisciplinary conversation on one of the most central aspects of religious engagement during the pre-modern period. From the high and late Middle Ages onwards, emotional responses to religious texts, objects, imagery and music became highly important in the construction of religious identities and religious communities. Emotions became the object of contemporary scrutiny, were encouraged and cultivated, modelled, appropriated, criticized and theorized. New patterns of emotional response and affective engagement repeatedly established themselves during the late medieval and early modern period, and pre-modern laypeople and religious experts developed highly specific cultures of emotionality, in which different spatial arrangements and various types of media and genres intended for men, women or mixed audiences can be seen to interact with existing cultural patterns.

The training school aims to encourage an interdisciplinary discussion on the multifaceted and methodologically challenging connections between emotion and religious experience visible in these dynamics, and brings together participants and guest lecturers working on the nexus of emotions and religion from different interdisciplinary angles.

Ten PhD or advanced MA students can be offered the opportunity to participate in lectures and discussions on the basis of shared reading and in museum/library visits during a three-day event. Each participant will be expected to give a brief presentation of their own research.

How to apply – Conditions

Applicants must be doctoral or M.A. students/researchers in history, literature, art history, musicology or another relevant discipline who have worked with medieval or early modern religious texts and research an aspect of the nexus of religion and emotions. The number of places is limited to ten and priority is given to persons from the 24 countries participating in the COST Action. For a list of participating countries, see: Basic knowledge of Latin is expected.

The training is free and students will receive a grant covering three nights’ accommodation and meals. If travel cannot be subsidized at the home university, a letter documenting the unsuccessful application can be sent in to obtain a contribution towards travel cost, to be reimbursed after the event. The exact amount of travel subsidies will depend on the overall spendings, but we envisage being able to pay graded contributions to participants depending on the real amount of travel costs incurred, e.g. 50€ to participants from Benelux countries, but c. 250€ to participants traveling longer distances.

Sessions will be conducted in English and participants should bring a portable computer. Commitment: Each participant should present a relevant research project in a fifteen minute presentation and submit a (shortened) text version for publication on the COST Action blog after the event.

Application papers and deadline

Applicants should submit a single PDF document containing:

  • A cover sheet stating name, nationality, permanent address (including e-mail and telephone), university affiliation, last degree obtained, degree in progress, research director/advisor, research topic.
  • Curriculum vitae (including level of competence in Latin/English/other languages, e.g. good/fair/poor).
  • Letter of motivation describing your experience in the areas of research proposed by the Training School, explaining why you are applying and what you expect from the training in the framework of your current resarch (suggested length c. 500 words).
  • Attestation documenting suitability/thematic relevance from research advisor or director.
  • Copy of student ID card.


Applications must be submitted by midnight, 15 December, 2016.

Please send e-mails containing the application as a single PDF document to Sita Steckel,

Successful applicants will be notified by 10 January 2017.

Organizers: Junior-Prof. Dr. Sita Steckel (Muenster, DE), Dr. Ragnhild Bø (Oslo, NO), on behalf of COST Action IS1301.


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