Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals – University of Copenhagen

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Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals

The Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals contributes to the understanding of modern Western European culture by highlighting the resonance and resurfacing of medieval church rituals in the modern arts and culture: Churches constructed for cultic purposes in the Middle Ages form an integrated part of modern cities, but architectural contexts and functions have changed radically. Modern drama, opera, film, and music involve scenes which stage medieval liturgical or devotional ceremonies employing or mimicking medieval liturgy, but the medieval artefacts that are being recalled have undergone sometimes radical resignification and re-contextualization. This process of cultural heritage can be examined on many levels; in the view of the Centre, the modern idea of artistic creativity altogether should be seen also in the light of this phenomenon, broadly conceived.

The centre was supported from its opening on 1 February 2002 until 31 December 2010 by the Danish National Research Foundation. During these years 5 international conferences and numerous workshops took place. During these years, the centre has established a publication series at Brepols Publishers: Ritus et Artes: Traditions and Transformations. So far 5 volumes have been published and 2 are in preparation.

Since 1 September 2010 the centre leads an international collaborative project under the EuroCORECODE programme of the European Science Foundation
The projects is titled: The Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals and the Cult of Saints: Local and National Identities, Read more about the project here.

Recently (11 November 2011) Martin Wangsgaard Jürgensen defended his dissertation Changing Interiors: Danish Village Churches c. 1450 to 1600 for the degree of dr.teol. A revised version of this more than 600 pages dissertation will appear in the RITUS series, probably in 2012.

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