Solitudes Withdrawal and Engagement (finished)
How to be in the world but not of the world? SOLITUDES: WITHDRAWAL AND ENGAGEMENT IN THE LONG SEVENTEENTH CENTURY examined the tension between religious withdrawal from the world and societal engagement, and pursued this tension in texts, artworks, music, buildings and artefacts.
The research project SOLITUDES grew out of a research interest in how early modern believers understand their being in the world and the ways in which this understanding is brought to the fore in texts, images, architecture, music and artefacts. The outline of the project was defined by individual research, in situ explorations in Halle and Paris and interaction with fellow scholars from a broad range of disciplines.
The RESEARCH TEAM is: Mette Birkedal Bruun (PI, church history), Sven Rune Havsteen (associate professor, church history / history of musical culture), Kristian Mejrup (PhD-fellow, church history), Eelco Nagelsmit (postdoc, art history /architectural history) and Lars Nørgaard (PhD-fellow, church history).
The project finished in 2017.
Withdrawal from the world is a key theme in European culture and history. In terms of religious cultures the period from 1600 to 1750 is especially interesting, owing to the various ways in which both Catholics and Protestants engage in religious withdrawal. This is a withdrawal which demonstrates the biblical motif: be in the world but not of the world!
ENGAGEMENT with the world is a basic condition. No matter how withdrawn, the believer is situated in a societal context. But engagement denotes a more active stance too; there is the obligation to be a model to the world and make one’s withdrawal seen by it, or to engage with the world with the intention of reform or pastoral care. The urge for withdrawal is often paralleled by an implicit or explicit demand for engagement.
Journal of Early Modern Christianity 1.2 (2014) is a SOLITUDES theme issue. It includes a first presentation of our work: an almost 100-page jointly written article on four cases. In this article we present four different approaches to interdisciplinary research on withdrawal and engagement. The article focuses on La Trappe, Saint Cyr, the schools at the Francke Foundations and the community of the Francke Foundations.
The issues also includes articles by two members of the Advisory Board, Hartmut Lehmann (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel) and Jean-Louis Quantin (École Pratique des Hautes Études), and our colleague from the Dept. of Church History, University of Copenhagen, Nils Holger Petersen.
Other publications (selection)
- Birkedal Bruun, S.R. Havsteen, E. Nagelsmit, K. Mejrup, L. Nørgaard, “A Marvellous Model of female Conduct: Judith in Seventeenth-Century France” Transfiguration 2014 (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum, 2018), pp. 9–64
- Birkedal Bruun, L. Nørgaard, E. Nagelsmit, S.R. Havsteen, K. Mejrup, ‘Withdrawn amidst the World: Rancé’s Conduite Chrétienne for Mme de Guise (1697)’ Early Modern French Studies 39 (2017), pp. 57–74
- Lars Nørgaard, Engaged Withdrawal. Sources of Soul-Formation. Paul Godet des Marais’ Spiritual Direction of Madame de Maintenon (Copenhagen: The Faculty of Theology, 2017)
- K. Mejrup, Grand Prospects of Halle Pietism: The Acrobat, the Project-maker and the Shepherd (Copenhagen: The Faculty of Theology, 2016)
SOLITUDES aims for results with regard to historical and methodological insights. These results will be reached through a combination of individual research, collaboration within the project and exchanges with other scholars. We are engaged in an ongoing work with forms of collaboration and presentation. This work will be tested at project meetings, workshops and conferences as well as in publications.
The project was funded by a Consolidator’s Grant from the European Research Council (2012, Panel SH 5: Culture and Cultural Productions). SOLITUDES was launched in spring 2013, the project ran for fifty months.
Thierry Favier, Professor (Music), Université de Poitiers
Julie Finnerty, Editor of A. de Saint-Jean Arnauld d'Andilly’s letters, Université Paris IV-Sorbonne
Margrethe Floryan, PhD (Art History), Curator, Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen
Anne-Madeleine Goulet, PhD (Performing Arts), Research fellow (CNRS/Centre de musique baroque de Versailles)
Ferdinand van Ingen, Professor Em., Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
Martin Wangsgaard Jürgensen, dr.theol., Editor, Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen
Stefan Keppler-Tasaki, Professor (German Literature), University of Tokyo/Freie Universität Berlin
Hartmut Lehmann, Professor Em. (History), Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Michael Moriarty, Professor (French), University of Cambridge
Jean-Louis Quantin, Directeur d'études (History of erudition), École Pratique des Hautes Études
Anne Régent-Susini, Maître de conférences (literature, rhetoric), Université Paris III-Sorbonne nouvelle
Udo Sträter, Rektor, Martin-Luther-Universität, Halle-Wittenberg
Andreas Waczkat, Professor (History of Music), Universität Göttingen