Summer School: ‘Medieval "Lived Religion", Challenges and Approaches’, University of Groningen

24 until 28 June 2024

The Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society of the University of Groningen is organizing an international and interdisciplinary summer school, addressing the challenge of how to study "lived religious cultures" of people from the past. Instructors will give masterclasses from their own fields of research, e.g. architecture, art, archaeology, music, liturgy, history and polemics. The summer school, aimed at master's and PhD students, will take place from 24-28 June 2024 and will be offered both on-site and hybrid.

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.