Department of History
Visit Dee Dyas's profile on the York Research Database to:
- See a full list of publications
- Browse activities and projects
- Explore connections, collaborators, related work and more
BA (London), MA, PhD (Nott) FRHistS
Dee is Professor of the History of Christianity, Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture (CSCC) and Director of the Centre for Pilgrimage Studies at the University of York. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Her research interests and publications include the history, experience and significance of pilgrimage from the earliest centuries to the present day; the interaction of Christian belief and practice with Western culture; and the role of parish churches and cathedrals in the history and culture of England. She has edited four major interactive resources which explore the history, material culture and influence of Christianity, particularly in England, and is a series editor of the Boydell and Brewer ‘Christianity and Culture’ series, and of the ‘Routledge Studies in Pilgrimage, Religious Travel and Tourism’. Her recent publications include The Dynamics of Pilgrimage: Christianity, Holy Places and Sensory Experience. Routledge, 2020, and Pilgrimage and England's Cathedrals, Past, Present and Future. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020 (co-edited with Dr John Jenkins).
Dee served as Principal Investigator on a large 3-year Arts and Humanities Research Council funded interdisciplinary research project on Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals, Past and Present, and two AHRC Follow-On projects: 'The Becket Connection,' and 'Engaging with Place and Managing Space.' She is also Principal Investigator on the cross-disciplinary 'COVID-19, Churches and Communities' research and impact project (2020-22).
With CSCC Co-Director Dr Kate Giles, Dee oversees Christianity and Culture’s wide-ranging programme of research- based heritage interpretation partnerships with cathedrals, churches and other institutions, and provides advice and consultancy to churches and cathedrals at local and national level.
Dee has worked on the history and practice of pilgrimage, both in historical and contemporary contexts, for over twenty-five years and has spearheaded major research projects and initiatives in Pilgrimage Studies, in partnership with colleagues from the social sciences.
Her recent monograph, The Dynamics of Pilgrimage: Christianity, Holy Places and Sensory Experience (Routledge, 2020), offers a systematic, chronological analysis of the role played by the human senses in experiencing pilgrimage and sacred places, past and present. It thus addresses two major gaps in the existing literature, by providing a broad historical narrative against which patterns of continuity and change can be more meaningfully discussed, and focusing on the central, but curiously neglected, area of the core dynamics of pilgrim experience. Bringing together the still-developing fields of Pilgrimage Studies and Sensory Studies in a historically framed conversation, this interdisciplinary study traces the dynamics of pilgrimage and engagement with holy places from the beginnings of the Judaeo-Christian tradition to the resurgence of interest evident in twenty-first century England. Perspectives from a wide range of disciplines, from history to neuroscience, are used to examine themes including sacred sites in the Bible and Early Church; pilgrimage and holy places in early and later medieval England; the impact of the English Reformation; revival of pilgrimage and sacred places during the nineteenth and twentieth Centuries; and the emergence of modern place-centred, popular 'spirituality'.
Dee also recently co-edited Pilgrimage and England's Cathedrals, Past, Present and Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) with Dr John Jenkins. This volume looks at England’s cathedrals and their relationship with pilgrimage through history and at the present day. The volume brings together historians, social scientists, and cathedral practitioners to provide a groundbreaking work which is both academically rigorous and accessible to those working in and around cathedrals.