Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals
THE PROJECT HAS BEEN COMPLETED
The project ran between 1 February 2002 and 31 August 2014
The Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals contributed to the understanding of modern Western European culture by highlighting the resonance and resurfacing of medieval church rituals in the modern arts and culture.
As a ”centre of excellence” under the Danish National Research Foundation, the Centre has focused on the modern Western reception of medieval church rituals. The Centre has contributed to the understanding of modern Western European culture by highlighting resonance and resurfacings of medieval church rituals in the modern arts and culture. The project was transdisciplinary and has resulted in numerous publications.
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 was examined on many levels; in the view of the Centre, the modern idea of artistic creativity altogether was seen also in the light of this phenomenon, broadly conceived.
From 2010 to 2014 the Centre continued its work leading an international collaborative project within the EuroCORECODE programme under the European Science Foundation. This involved research groups from universities in Trondheim (Norway), Tallinn (Estonia), Krems (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary). This project dealt with medieval saints’ cults and their modern cultural receptions, focusing on their impact on local, regional and national identities. The title of the project was: Symbols that Bind and Break Communities: Saints' Cults as Stimuli and Expressions of Local, Regional, National and Universalist Identities.
The centre was supported from its opening on 1 February 2002 until 31 December 2010 by the Danish National Research Foundation. From 1 Sept 2010 to 31 August 2014 by the Independent Research Fund Denmark: Humanities.
Between 1 February 2002 and 31 August 2014 the following researchers from Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, Germany, USA and Brazil were employed at the Centre, som working at the Centre for several years, others for shorter periods, som as PhD students, some as postdocs, and some as guest professors:
From 2002 to 2010, an international advisory board supporting the Centre and its research program consisted of the following distinguished senior research fellows:
Associate Professor, Dr. Charlotte Appel (History), Dept. of History and Social Theory, Roskilde University, Denmark
Curator, Dr. Nicolas Bell (musicology), Music Collections, British Library,London, England.
Assoc. Professor, Dr. Magnar Breivik (musicology), The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway.
Research Associate, Dr. Siglind Bruhn (music and humanities), University of Michigan, USA.
Professor Emeritus, Dr. Claus Clüver (comparative literature), Indiana University, USA.
Associate Professor, Dr. Michael Harbsmeier (Anthropology), Dept. of History and Social Theory, Roskilde University., Denmark
Professor, Dr. Andreas Haug (musicology), Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg,Germany, and The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway.
Professor, Dr. Gunilla Iversen (classics), Stockholm University, Sweden.
From 1 February 2002 to 31 December 2010 five international conferences and numerous workshops took place. During these years, the centre established a publication series at Brepols Publishers: Ritus et Artes: Traditions and Transformations which is still running. So far 9 volumes have been published and 2 are in preparation. Read more about the series here. In addition, numerous other books and articles from the project have been published.
On 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 has appeared in the RITUS series under the title Ritual and Art Across the Danish Reformation: Changing Interiors of Danish Village Churches, 1450–1600 in 2018 as Ritus et Artes 6.
Margrete Syrstad Andås’s PhD-dissertation, Imagery and Ritual in the Liminal Zone: A Study of Texts and Architectural Sculpture from the Nidaros Province c. 1100-1300 was defended at the Faculty on 30 May 2013.
The European Science Foundation project (2010‒14) has also resulted in numerous articles and a number of books, some published in collaboration with other projects. Here are some of the most important of these:
Saints and Sainthood around the Baltic Sea: Identity, Literacy, and Communication in the Middle Ages, ed. by Carsten Selch Jensen, Tracey R. Sands, Nils Holger Petersen, Kurt Villads Jensen, and Tuomas M.S. Lehtonen (Kalamzoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2018).
Symbolic Identity and the Cultural Memory of Saints, ed. by Nils Holger Petersen, Anu Mänd, Sebastián Salvadó, and Tracey R. Sands (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2018).
Ora pro nobis: Space, Place and the Practice of Saints’ Cults in Medieval and Early-Modern Scandinavia and Beyond, ed. by Nils Holger Petersen, Mia Münster-Swendsen, Thomas Heebøll-Holm and Martin Wansgaard Jürgensen. Publications from the National Museum, Studies in Archaeology & History Vol. 27 (Odense: University of Southern Denmark Press, 2019).