International evaluation of the centre 2009

On 1 October, the new international evaluation of the centre was concluded with 3 reports by scholars from Germany, the UK, and Italy. The reports are very positive, indeed. Here are short summaries in the form of quotations. Links to the full texts are also given below.

Professor Ulrich Berner, Bayreuth International School of African Studies, University of Bayreuth, Germany, states his evaluation from the outset in the following words (p. 1):  

The "Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals" has done groundbreaking work in challenging this view by discovering and highlighting lines of continuity between medieval and modern European culture. This is a very ambitious and innovative project, providing a lot of case studies for the much debated reflections on "cultural memory" (Jan Assmann). One strength of the Centre is the multidisciplinary approach responding creatively to a problematic feature of previous research in European intellectual history: the variety of academic disciplines has implied a strong tendency to divide the cultural heritage into different and rather unrelated areas: art, music, theology, literature. Each discipline has developed its own methodology and agenda, thereby isolating cultural elements according to a modern understanding of categories like "music", "religion" and so on. By focusing on the concept of ritual, the Centre has succeeded in bringing together the various disciplines in a joint effort to investigate the interconnectedness of the different cultural areas. This project is of high relevance for the self-perception of con-temporary European culture.

Read the full text here.

Professor Michelle Brown, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK, writes in conclusion (p. 4-5):

Taking all of this into account, I am of the opinion that the work of the Centre for the Study of Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals at the University of Copenhagen has been making a most valuable contribution in this area of international, interdisciplinary study over the past eight years, since its foundation in 2002 and that the scoping, phasing and structuring of the programme of research and its dissemination has been professionally and academically well-managed and implemented. [...] Only a generous level of funding, sustained and planned across a set period or periods of time can enable an ambitious and complex initiative such as the Centre to take root and grow. The Danish National Research Foundation is to be congratulated in facilitating this in such a liberal fashion.

Read the full text here.

Dr. Giacomo Baroffio, Dipartimento di Scienze Musicologiche e Paleografico-Filologiche, Universitá degli studi de Pavia, Italy, would also have liked the Centre to present texts and music, for instance in CD and DVD recordings of the most important studied materials, and summarises his evaluation as follows (p. 5):

Es wurde schon angedeutet, das Projekt sei eine wichtige Angelegenheit. Durch die Seminararbeiten und die schon erschienenen Bücher, haben Forscher verschiedener Fächer - vor allem Liturgiewissenschaftler und Musikwissenschaftler, Theologen und Philosophen - neue Einblicke in wichtige Wendepunkte der europäischen Kultur im Verlauf des zweiten Milleniums bekommen. Die symphonisch gestaltete Zusammenarbeit und die weit verbreiteten Nachrichten und Ergebnisse des Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals verlangen die Fortsetzung des Unternehmens. Die Breite der geforschten Themen empfiehlt die Weiterführung der bis heute eingeschlagenen geprüften Wege.