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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

Spiritual and Material Economies 1000-1350: Time, Devotion and Reform

8th June 2016, 14:00 to 10th June 2016, 18:30, Calman Learning Centre and Durham Business School

This three day conference is being held as part of the Norwegian Research Council funded project ‘Economies of Salvation in the Middle Ages’ (Principal Investigator: Professor Svein H. Gullbekk, University of Oslo).

The conference is free but booking is required. To book a place and to view the conference programme please click here.

Spiritual and Material Economies 1000-1350: Time, Devotion and Reform will bring together experts across a range of different disciplines (history, theology, liturgy, art history and numismatics), with a focus on northern and western Christendom of the High Middle Ages. The workshop will explore the ways in which the articulation of belief changed over the course of the eleventh to early fourteenth century, in written texts, historical action, and material culture, and the interrelationships of these media and conceptual frameworks. The period from 1000-1350 witnessed profound social, economic and religious change. Latin Christendom experienced physical expansion. Reform in both secular and ecclesiastical spheres became a regular phenomenon. Intellectual movements deepened older, and opened new ways, of conceiving human society, the relationship of the living to the dead, and the mechanisms of Christian salvation. Medieval societies also moved to monetised, if not fully monetary economies. How these movements and phenomena were ordered, how they operated as economies in their own right, and how far they overlapped and superimposed structures of understanding from one framework to another, are questions the exploration of which goes to the heart of medieval life and thought. To consider, for example, how far economic understanding affected conceptions of salvation, and/or how far understanding of salvation theology affected conceptions of economy, is to engage with the evolution of both phenomena within the period, the varied efforts of contemporaries to articulate their experience, and the evidence that survives through which such encounters with the past are possible. Spiritual and Material economies will explore the varied dimensions through which medieval people expressed their belief, or hope, in ordered economies, secular and sacred. In so doing, it will open new perspectives on how medieval society, in its individual and collective concerns, can be analysed and approached.

Speakers are: Mia Münster-Swendsen (Roskilde), Steven Vanderputten (Ghent), Sara Ellis Nilsson (Gothenburg), Erik Niblaeus (Durham), Rory Naismith (KCL), Aden Kumler (Chicago), Éimhín Walsh(Trinity College Dublin), Thomas Ball (Duram), Martin Wangsgaard (National Museum, Copenhagen), Lydwine Scordia (Rouen), Elizabeth Boyle (Maynooth), Jon Turnock (Durham), Rosalind Green (Durham), Lena Liepe (Oslo), Svein Gullbekk (Oslo), Giles Gasper (Durham).

Contact for more information about this event.