Wednesday, 5 October, Faculty of Theology, Room 253, Oude Boteringestraat 38, 16:30-18:00
The birth of the child murder accusation against Jews, associated with the Vita et passio Willelmi Norwicensis
Miri Rubin, Queen Mary University London
Miri Rubin is Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History at QMUL. Her publications include: Corpus Christi: the Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture (1991), Gentile Tales; the Narrative Assault on Late Medieval Jews (2004), Mother of God. A History of the Virgin Mary (2009), and trans. with an introduction, Thomas of Monmouth, The Life and Passion of William of Norwich (2014).
Miri Rubin’s Edition of The Life and Passion of William of Norwich
6 June, 16:00, Faculty of Theology, Oude Boteringestraat 38, room 125
During the Late Middle Ages religious life in Western Europe was increasingly influenced by Eucharistic devotion. Among these influences local cults, arising from a ‘Eucharistic miracle’, played important roles. These miracles involved a remarkable, inexplicable occurrence with the consecrated host or wine. Amsterdam also had a devotion of this sort, a so-called ‘Sacrament of Miracle’. In 1345, in this Dutch city, a Host lay for hours in a fireplace without being consumed by the fire; hence the site of the miracle became the ‘Holy Place’. From its inception, the devotion seems to have been a factor in interests of its devotees, the municipal authorities, the Counts of Holland and later on even the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
Charles Caspers works in the Titus Brandsma Institute. His most recent monograph is Zacht doch krachtdadig: Anna Catharina van Hees en de oorsprong van de Congregatie Dochters van Maria en Joseph (2015).
Groningen, 9-10 June 2016
This two-day conference seeks to bring together scholars and paper experts working across a range of disciplines and geographic areas who are interested in the ways in which paper supported, shaped, or otherwise influenced practices of politics and political communications in the period ca.1350-ca.1800. It aims to sketch a more integral picture of the ways in which paper permitted early modern politics and political communications to unfold.
Keynote speakers include: Prof. Lothar Muller, Prof. Andrew Pettegree, Prof. Jonathan Bloom, and Prof. Jacob Soll.
2 May, 16:00, Faculty of Theology, Oude Boteringestraat 38, room 130
Between 1750 and 1830 the Dutch state developed from an oligarchic republic to an enlightened autocratic monarchy via a short-lasted experiment with representative democracy. During this period, there was an ongoing debate about the right to petition. Political actors and opinion makers addressed the questions to what and whom this right extended and what it meant to have such a right. While theorists of the different types of government had sharply contrasting views on the place of the people in the political process, ideas about petitioning remained remarkably stable.
Dr Joris Oddens works in the Institute for History at the University of Leiden. His areas of expertise include the history of the Enlightenment and the history of the Batavian Republic. His current research project is ‘The Primacy of Local Belonging: Private Papers, Petitioning, and Periodical Press’ which is part of the NWO Free Competition Programme ‘The Persistence of Civic Identities in the Netherlands, 1747-1848’.
25 April, 16:00-17:30, Faculty of Theology, Oude Boteringestraat 38, room 130
St Thomas Aquinas: an ‘alter Christus’? – Marika Räsänen, University of Turku
Giant Bible Frontispieces and the Hermeneutics of Reading: Some Observations – Teemu Immonen (University of Turku)
Dr Marika Räsänen is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Turku. Her lecture proposes a new reading of the image of Thomas Aquinas based on the 14th- and 15th-century hagiographical, liturgical and iconographical sources. This reading suggests that Thomas was represented as a special follower of Christ, an alter Christus, both in the traditional way through hagiographical topoi, and in a more ‘personal’ way as the composer of the texts of Corpus Christi liturgy and even through the fate of his own corpse.
Dr Teemu Immonen is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Turku. His lecture addresses the 11th-century church reform that gave birth to a particular form of Bible manuscript called Giant Bibles. Several central Italian examples of the genre include a prominent Creation frontispiece before the text of Genesis. Despite the wide scholarly interest that the frontispieces have generated, little attention has been paid to the function of the pictures at the beginning of the biblical text. The paper discusses what these images tell us about the attitudes of their makers towards the book, i.e. Bible, and more specifically towards the reading of the Bible. It addresses the question of the manner in which the images participate in the process of interpreting the text.
4 April, 16:00, Faculty of Theology, Oude Boteringestraat 38, room 130
In his famous struggle for religious tolerance the French reformed theologian and opponent of Calvin, S. Castellio (1515-1563), focussed on the solution of intra-Christian conflicts and the execution of heretics. However, widely overlooked, references to Jews and Judaism (and also to Islam) played an important role in his argumentation. How did Castellio refer to biblical Judaism? What was his strategy of ‘Judaizing the heretics’? What was the relation with the ‘heretization of the Jews’ in Late Medieval times? These and other questions about religious tolerance in the Reformation period will be discussed.
Hans-Martin Kirn is Professor of Church History at the Protestant Theological University. His research is focused on the history of Central and Western European Protestantism between the 16th and the 18th centuries.
NEW DATE: 15 FEBRUARY 2016
Time: 16:00. Venue: Faculty of Theology, Oude Boteringestraat 38, room 130
This paper argues that colonialism is a recursive process. That is, to draw from the concept of recursion in computer science, colonialism resembles a process in which the output of a function becomes the input of the next iteration of the function. In this case, colonialism is also dynamic (and often chaotic) so that with each iteration the successive outcomes (and the inputs) are different, sometimes wildly so. Yet the recursion does not entirely efface itself after each iteration—traces remain of previous forms. And because colonialism is at once a serial process (one settlement follows another), a parallel process (colonies develop simultaneously), and a networked process (colonies influence one another)—traces are left behind not only from previous colonies and previous iterations of a colony but also from previous iterations of other colonies.
This model runs against important models of colonization for early modern British America in which “virgin land” colonization appears as the typical process of development. Although historians long ago showed that European colonization had roots in Old World experiences, the sense persists that colonization is culturally new. Not only that, it is new again and again—it is new each time it begins in a new place. But as the rage for interconnectivity has swept through history as well as all else in modern culture, historians have begun to show that colonies have had strong connections to one another not just at later stages of development but at earlier ones, too. We begin to see that all colonies are colonies of colonies.
Dr Mark Thompson is a senior lecturer at the Department of American Studies at the University of Groningen. He recently published The Contest for the Delaware Valley: Allegiance, Identity, and Empire in the Seventeenth Century (Louisiana State University Press, 2013).
Centre for Historical Studies Lecture
February 8th, 16:00 in Academy Building A3
Speaker: Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser is professor of book studies at the University of Münster. She recently published Book Gifts and Cultural Networks from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century (2015) with co-editor Kerstin Meyer-Bialk.
1 February, 16:00, Faculty of Theology, Oude Boteringestraat 38, room 130
In this paper, I would like to defend the claim that Spinoza endorses an intersubjective or, more precisely, an interactionist view of the mind. What does this mean? The basic assumption of such a view is that our minds do not cognize things prior to our relation to others. This means that the content of our thoughts is determined by our mind’s relation to other minds.
But why should you care whether Spinoza held such a view? Like most other early modern philosophers, Spinoza is portrayed as an individualist or subjectivist who adheres to the Cartesian view of the mind as a private place with private mental states. On this reading, early modern philosophy is pervaded by the idea that thinking requires nothing beyond an individual mind, a self that thinks; indeed, the cogito is the starting point for building up true knowledge. In contrast to this reading, I would like to show that quite a number of early modern authors endorsed an intersubjectivist view of the mind, a view that would deny the sufficiency of a subjective cogito. In this paper, I will confine myself to Spinoza who, as I see it, defends an intersubjective view that is rooted in his metaphysics, defining the individual by means of interrelations to others.
Prof. Martin Lenz is the chair of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Groningen. He works in the area of medieval and early modern philosophy.
21 January, 16:00, Faculty of Theology, Oude Boteringestraat 38, room 123
The idea of the Hebraica Veritas is the belief that the Hebrew Bible, as it was transmitted in rabbinical circles in the first centuries of the Common Era, was the “original” Old Testament text. As obvious as this may seem to modern biblical scholars, we have to appreciate how novel this idea was when the church father Jerome first introduced it in the church of Late Antiquity, when Greek versions and their Latin translations were regarded as the “common versions”. The idea meant that, to recover the original text, one needed to turn to the Jews, who were guardians both of the sacred text itself and of the language in which it was written. Medieval exegetes inherited this paradoxical idea, and adapted it to the specific circumstances of the Christian middle ages. It shaped Christian conceptions of textual authority, and influenced Christian attitudes towards the Jews of their own time. Through the steady growth of medieval Christian Hebraism, one could indeed say that by the end of the Middle Ages, not only had the idea of Hebraica Veritas triumphed, but, indeed, the Hebrew Bible had become a Christian book.
Prof. Frans van Liere is the director of medieval studies at Calvin College. His An Introduction to the Medieval Bible was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.