Groningen, Netherlands

Medieval “Lived Religion”

blended course
when 24 June 2024 - 28 June 2024
language English
duration 1 week
credits 5 EC
fee EUR 250

Recent approaches to the study of religion have used the term “lived religion” to foreground “ordinary people” over the “elite”. This approach has stressed practices, sites and material cultures over texts and doctrines, heteronormative spaces and sites over institutions, and experiences over doctrines.

With rare exceptions, however, “lived religion” has remained largely focussed on contemporary religious cultures, implying that in earlier religious communities that distinctions between “official” and “popular” were neat, and unambiguous. The picture is, of course, far more complex. Moreover, “lived religion” approaches might itself be critiqued for suggesting a too tidy distinction between text and material, practice and doctrine.

In this international interdisciplinary summer school you will be challenged by leading specialists dealing with textual and material sources of medieval religious cultures. You will be equipped to develop your own approach to the study of medieval religious cultures. The instructors, chosen from Groningen and internationally, will give masterclasses from their own fields of research (e.g. architecture, art, archaeology, music, liturgy, history, polemics), in an integrated programme that takes seriously the challenge of how to study of “lived religious cultures” of people of the past.

The school will be offered on site and hybridly.

Course leader

Dr. Andrew J. M. Irving
Dr. Mathilde van Dijk

Target group

This summer school is designed for:

- MA and ReMA students (Religious Studies, Medieval Studies, History, Art History, Cultural History, Architectural History, Archaeology, Music History, Manuscript Studies)
- PhD students (Religious Studies, Medieval Studies, History, Art History, Cultural History, Architectural History, Archaeology, Music History, Manuscript Studies)

It is required to have a Bachelor in the humanities, preferably some study of sources from the European Middle Ages.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Course aim

After this course you will be able to:

- identify challenges and approaches to medieval “lived religion” on the basis of examples from more than one discipline
- situate medievalist research, especially their own, in current scholarly, societal and cultural debates
- critically reflect on the uses of contemporary approaches to “lived religion” to the study of the Middle Ages and apply these creatively in their medievalist research
- enrich their own research fields through active engagement with multi- and inter-disciplinary research on medieval religion
- propose new avenues of research and critically assess (material and written) sources and scholarship in connection with their own research projects.

Credits info

5 EC
Preparation: 70 hours
Lectures: 23 hours
Presentation: 5 (+2?) hours
Paper: 40 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 140 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Fee info

EUR 250: For in-person participation, includes lunches, coffee, a dinner, and excursions.
EUR 150: for online attendance only

Register for this course
on course website