Research Seminar Hosted by the Reformation History Network

This seminar has been held

Material Religion, Religious Practise and Theological Thought, c. 1400 -1700.

Throughout the Reformation era there were tensions between theological thinking and religious practise. Sometimes in opposition (as was apparent with the introduction of the Reformation and implementation of a new theology), but equally often in a complementary relationship due to the dialectical relationship between theology and devotion, and between dogmas of faith and its material expression and practise. Images, iconography, devotional practises and their paraphernalia, hymns and songs – to name but a few examples – are not only an expression of faith, but also shaped faith itself. The instruments of devotion articulate and formulate theology as sites where a fundamental recognition of faith is articulated and expressed in interaction with theological thinking. To a large extent, both theological thinking and the practise of faith deal with making the invisible visible: a red thread through which the immaterial is articulated through the material.

The seminar focuses on the study of instruments of devotion, which to a large extent can be seen as material and physical aspects of religion and faith and their relationship to theological thinking. Issues of change but also continuity in visible and visual culture are of particular interest, also in the context of the invisible.