Religious practices and everyday life (1350-1570)

An accumulation of various converging evidence from the 'long fifteenth century' seems to suggest that all around Europe religious practices did not simply spread -- they changed. Often they became intensified and more personal: hence the multiplication of books, leaflets, images and also other types of material objects – for example rosaries – whose production seems to have been prompted by an array of increasing demands for them which are revealing and significant in their own right. Such religious tools correspondingly supported and, so it would appear, modified daily devotions in their own intriguing ways.

For the next COST-meeting of Working Group n° 2 (Lisbon, 22-24 March 2016), we would like to gather, analyze, compare and explore the evidence we have of continuities and shifts in such daily religious practices, with special but not exclusive attention to the following:

- temporalities – the religious rythms and the ways in which people's hours, days, weeks, months and years were structured;

- sacraments and any intervention of an ecclesiastical or spiritual guidance at the crucial moments of human life (birth, weddings, vows, death). The redaction and reception of artes moriendi, for example, could provide interesting case studies for tackling such a topic;

- institutional or social contexts for religious gestures and behaviours (such as the family); the social dimension of religious life and the various forms of socializing connected with them;

- the dynamic materiality of religious tools and devotional rituals (use of books and other objects in devotional rituals or activities);

- the dynamics amongst written texts, images and oral culture.

Along the way, we would like to assess methodological issues as to the possibilities (or not) of bridging the gaps between, on the one hand, extant documents and objects and, on the other hand, the social and material contexts in which they were created and the daily settings in which they were used and manipulated.

Proposals (max. 500 words abstracts) to be sent by 8th January 2016 to Ian Johnson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)