Holy Bodies Sacred Spaces

Saturday 2 May 2015, 10.30AM

The praesentia of holy bodies, the material remains of saints, is a seminal aspect of late antique and medieval Christianity, and has long received scholarly attention. The art-historical debate on the eleventh and twelfth centuries has focused, in particular, on pilgrimage, from the seminal and monumental monograph by Arthur Kingsley Porter to the most recent studies that examine the relationship between architecture and pilgrims’ pathways in approaching holy bodies and venerated relics.

However, the idea of pilgrimage unveils only a part of the richness of the topic. In this conference, speakers are invited to reflect on the different layers of meaning associated with the praesentia of holy bodies. What was, for example, the ecclesiological relevance of the possession of holy bodies at a given site? To what extent did the praesentia of a saint have an institutional, or even “political” importance? And, finally, in which ways have these aspects been “materialised” in architectural structures or visualised in images?

Speakers: Jane Hawkes (University of York), Richard Plant (Christie's Education), Wilfried E Keil (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg), Christopher Norton (University of York), Jessica N Richardson (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut), Manuel Casti┼łeiras (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and Andreas Hartmann-Virnich (Laboratoire d’Archéologie Médiévale et Moderne en Méditerranée, LA3M UMR 7298 Aix-Marseille Université AMU/CNRS).

Download the Holy Bodies Sacred Spaces Programme (PDF  , 267kb)

Generously funded by the British Academy-Leverhulme Foundation, with the support of the Department of History of Art and the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York.  For further queries please contact the conference organiser, Michele Luigi Vescovi.

Location: The Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul

Email: micheleluigi.vescovi@york.ac.uk