Amongst many other positive outcomes, the Training School has offered me ideas for how I could conceptualize my research. The papers presented by the different speakers discussed a wide variety of source material – devotional texts, images, places and literature – and examples were given of how emotions could be elicited from these sources using a range of approaches grounded in disciplines such as, for example, anthropology, neuroscience and social psychology. Some of the most pertinent approaches for my work, that were mentioned in the sessions, are summarized below.
Over the course of a three-day workshop, papers on diverse time periods, regions, and with different methodological approaches revealed intersecting ideas and complimentary devotional practices across medieval and early modern Europe. At the same time, each paper highlighted different aspects of the subject of emotion. With regards to my own research, centred on devotional space and emotion, two areas were particularly provoking. Christina Lutter’s analysis of Caesarius of Heisterbach and Andrea Mancini’s discussion of Nicholas of Osimo raised questions of emotional excess and control, encouraging the group to think about acceptable and measured emotions. In particular it led me to question how the protagonists of my own research, Angela of Foligno and Rosa of Viterbo, women without a monastic education, came to understand what appropriate emotional expression was. This has encouraged me to think more systematically about how emotional schemas would have been transferred from clerical thinkers to lay religious, and how these might have been adapted or changed by the individual. Continue reading
7th Training School COST Action IS1301
Organisation & Aims
COST Action IS1301, studying „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 25 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 its seventh Training school on “The role of media in the rise of new religious movements in late medieval and early modern Europe” Under the influence of (biblical) Humanism a movement of religious renewal arises at the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century. From a confessional point of view this movement is still rather unpronounced at that time. It is however clear that the Bible plays a central role as the most important source of personal faith. Within this movement there is ample room for (critical) reflection upon the message of christianity and the position of the church, but separation from the church is of no interest to the people yet. From the thirties on, groups begin to manifest themselves, in which, independently from the Church, Bible study and discussion of new ideas on central theological issues – such as the Eucharist – occupy an important place, displaying the first confessional diversification. In this development the printed media (text and image) have a crucial role, but the oral tradition (singing songs, preaching, conventicles) should not be underestimated. Repressive measures resulted in various religious migration flows, resulting in new concentrations of refugee communities. Within these communities – anabaptist, lutheran, reformed and catholic – a clear need existed for further shaping and development of own identity, to create and strenghten a distinct profile. Continue reading
The Passionate Devotions training school provided three days of stimulating and lively discussion, bringing together scholars working on a wide range of topics, spanning different timeframes and using diverse sources. Despite the breadth and diversity of our topics, it was very interesting to note the similarities in our approaches to our various projects and to discover that we face similar challenges in engaging with the history of emotions. Some key questions that arose frequently during the training school were as follows: Continue reading
“There is a lot to digest!” This simple phrase stated at the closing discussion of the workshop by one of the participants, best describes the deep intellectual impact the Münster days will have on our future research. Skimming through the notes I have written down during the presentations and discussions, I became aware of the fact how difficult it is to write a short overview of the event. Apart from the vast time span (twelfth to eighteenth century) and original sources composed in different languages (Latin, Mid-Dutch, Occitan…), what still strikes me the most are different approaches to the questions related to emotions in devotional practices. The various topics of modelling, instigating, provoking, shaping, and censoring of emotional responses, have all proved to be highly stimulative for discussions following the presentations, but as well in informal occasions during the meals and post-dinner brewery visits.
The latest Training school organized by COST Action IS1301 discussed „Passionate devotions. Emotions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Religious Texts, Images and Music“. It built on the impression that the study of late medieval and early modern religious culture and the emerging history of emotions have strong links, and continue to be combined in interesting ways by younger scholars. For the event at Muenster, taking place in the beautiful historical Kaminzimmer of the Haus der Niederlande (see photos on Twitter), ten doctoral or MA participants and five guest lecturers (including my co-organizer Ragnhild M. Bø, my Muenster collaborator Stephanie Kluge and myself) came together for three intense days of discussion (see the programme)