Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
(CANCELLED) Objects of Devotion: Religion and its Instruments in Early Modern Europe
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend
 

Objects of Devotion: Religion and its Instruments in Early Modern Europe is an international conference to be held at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies in Toronto, Ontario, on 17-18 April, 2020.

4/17/2020 to 4/18/2020
When: Friday, April 17, 2020
Where: Emmanuel College, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario 
Canada

« Go to Upcoming Event List  

April 17–18, 2020
Emmanuel College, University of Toronto
https://crrs.ca/objects-of-devotion/ 

How were religious ideas and practice realized through interaction with objects? How did the presence of sculptures, paintings, books, and church furniture—their visibility, tactility, and materiality—help form attitudes toward devotion, sacred history, and salvation? In other words, how did people think with things—both clerics and lay devotees? We will examine the complex role of sacrament houses, altarpieces, pulpits, jubés, and baptismal fonts in molding ideas about the central tenets of Christianity. How, for example, did statues of Christ and the saints make both present and problematic these issues—particularly when they involved performances: carried about the town, taken down from the cross and laid in the sepulcher, or lanced to emit spurts of blood? Tombs helped form ideas about the body, its mortality, and the hope of resurrection. We will investigate how lay, unoffical devotional practice differed from institutionalized forms of piety and how they influenced each other. How did objects sustain both the status concerns and the often very precise religious beliefs of their patrons? Rather than verify these readings through early modern texts, we recognize both texts and objects as opaque cultural references that must be interpreted according to complex conventions and triangulated to offer compelling readings.

Historians of the late medieval and early modern period have created an antithesis between spiritual (inward) and physical (outward) devotion, branding the latter as superficial, ritualistic and mechanistic. More generally, from the first Protestant historians to Max Weber and his followers, the Reformation has come to be represented as the classic watershed between material, magical devotion and spiritual, rational belief. In a similar vein, art historians have opposed the notion of the medieval cult image, material and functional, to the early modern work of art, subject to aesthesis (Carolyn Walker Bynum, Hans Belting). Yet, does it make sense to distinguish between late medieval and early modern religious culture, given the fact that the definitions and boundaries of these periods are notoriously problematic and considerably overlap? We will examine the degree to which these differing traditions dictated separate approaches to objects and their role in forming beliefs and practices.

Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal
This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.