Centre highlights 2007 – University of Copenhagen

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Faculty of Theology > Sections and centres > Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medival Rituals > Centre highlights 2007

Centre highlights 2007 


There have been two major ‘highlights’ for the centre in 2007


1: The international conference, The Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals IV: Transformations of Discourse took place 14–17 June at the Faculty of Theology and was opened by the Rector (Vice-Chancellor) of the University of Copenhagen, Prof. Ralf Hemmingsen.


2: The launching of the Centre’s English language book series at the prominent publishing house Brepols (Turnhout, Belgium). This book series now contains 3 published peer-reviewed books written and edited by centre staff members and international collaborators – a fourth volume is on its way – which document fundamental aspects of the research of the centre.

The international conference in June was supposed to address some fundamental theoretical historiographical topics connected to the research of the centre by way of concrete historical work. We therefore invited top scholars who work on related themes, in different disciplines, to those of the centre research plan. Professors Miri Rubin (University of London), Stephen Bann (University of Bristol), Burcht Pranger (University of Amsterdam), Edward Muir (Northwestern University), Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger (Universität Münster), Philippe Buc (Stanford University), and Rob Wegman (Princeton University) gave lectures on topics from their own research which highlighted the balance between continuity and change in narratives within the cultural history of Western Europe. These lectures were open to all interested.

During the conference, there were also workshops where the invited guest professors, centre members and some specially invited participants were able to discuss the conference theme in a more general context. Here concepts such as re-contextualization and transformation by which scholars integrate claims of innovation, rupture, or discontinuity with ideas of tradition, continuity, constancy, or identity were taken up based on materials made available and introduced by the centre staff.

The conference will lead to a publication which is currently in preparation and to which both international participants and centre members are contributing. One prominent guest professor, who unfortunately had to cancel, Prof. Peter Burke (Cambridge) will instead visit the centre in April 2008 (also giving a public lecture).

The mentioned book series Ritus et Artes: Traditions and Transformations is the major tool for presenting the centre’s interdisciplinary research on religious and cultural practices of the European Middle Ages and their manifestations in the modern arts. Elements of medieval religious rituals, embedded in various traditions, have passed through into Western cultural heritage, memory and sensibilities, informing thereby the development of the arts in the West. Three volumes have been published so far: Ritus 2 and 3 came out in spring 2007, Ritus 2: Sven Rune Havsteen, Nils Holger Petersen, Heinrich Schwab and Eyolf Østrem (eds), Creations: Medieval Rituals, the Arts, and the Concept of Creation; Ritus 3: Margrete Syrstad Andås, Øystein Ekroll, Andreas Haug, and Nils Holger Petersen (eds), The Medieval Cathedral of Trondheim: Architectural and Ritual Constructions in their European Context. In spring 2008, also Ritus 1 has appeared, Eyolf Østrem and Nils Holger Petersen, Medieval Ritual and Early Modern Music: The Devotional Practice of Lauda Singing in Late-Renaissance Italy. The book series has an international editorial board: Prof. Gunilla Iversen (Stockholm University), Prof. Richard Utz (Western Michigan University), Dr. Nicolas Bell (British Library), and Mette Birkedal Bruun, Eyolf Østrem, and Nils Holger Petersen (all from the centre). The series are open also to contributions from other scholars.