Conference: Clothing Sacred Scripture (Zurich, 9-11 October 2014)

International Conference:
Clothing Sacred Scripture: Book Art and Book Religions in the Middle Ages
9-11 October 2014 
Universitaet Zuerich, Raemistrasse 71, KOL-G-217

clothingsacredscriptureflyerIn a traditional perspective, book religions are seen as agents of logocentrism, establishing a sharp dichotomy between scripture and aesthetics, religion and art. The conference aims to broaden this perspective by a comparative and transcultural approach to religious
book culture exploring the specific »aesthetics of inlibration« of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the Middle Ages. The conference will reflect upon the different strategies of »clothing« sacred texts with precious materials and ornate forms in pretypographic cultures to create a close relation between the divine words and their human
audience. Conducted by an art historical focus the conference contributes to the nexus between sacred scripture and art by exploring how art shapes the religious practice of books, and how the central importance of religious books shapes the evolution of artistic practices.


Thursday 9 October 2014

10:00-10:30 David Ganz (Universitaet Zuerich)
Welcome and Introduction

Chair: Barbara Schellewald (Universitaet Basel)

10:30-11:15 Bruno Reudenbach (Universitaet Hamburg)
Liturgical Reading and/or Presence. Observations on Early Medieval 
Gospel Books

11:15-11:45 Coffee Break

11:00-11:45 Sarit Shalev-Eyni (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Aural and Performing Aspects of Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts for 
Liturgical and Ritual Use

12:30-14:00 Lunch Break

Chair: Sophie Schweinfurth (Universitaet Zuerich)

14:00-14:45 Vera Beyer (Freie Universitaet Berlin)
When Writers Dream of Mental Sight… Images of Dreams as Mediators 
between Material and Immaterial Aspects of Persian and French 

14:45-15:30 Finnbarr Barry Flood (New York University)
Bodies, Books and Buildings: Economies of Ornament in Juridical Islam

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break

Chair: Anna Buecheler (Universitaet Zuerich)

16:00-16:45 Michelle Brown (University of London)
Concealed yet Revealed: Empowering Unseen Text by Iconic External 
Visualisation, from the Freer Gospels to the Lough Kinale Bookshrine

16:45-17:30 Karin Krause (The University of Chicago Divinity School)
Divine Tablets, Heavenly Scrolls. Images and Metaphors of Sacred 
Scripture in Byzantium

17:30-18:00 Coffee Break

18:00-18:45 Robert S. Nelson (Yale University)
Dressing and Undressing Greek Lectionaries in Florence

18:45 Apéro

Friday 10 October 2014

Chair: Silke Tammen (Universitaet Giessen)

9:00-9:45 Barbara Schellewald (Universitaet Basel)
Holy Scripture as Body of Christ. The Book in the Byzantine Liturgy

9:45-10:30 Vladimir Ivanovici (Università della Svizzera Italiana
The Ritual Display of Jewelled Bibles in Late Antiquity: Aesthetic and 
Typological Implications

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

11.00-11.45 Carsten Juwig (Universitaet Hamburg)
Clothing the Corruptible with Incorruption. Views of Book and Baptism

11:45-12:30 Lindsey Smith (University of York)
Glorious Bookends: The Performance of Ivory Embellishing Sacred Text 
and the Connection between Consumer, Image and the Word of God

12:30-14:00 Lunch Break

Chair: Vera Beyer (Freie Universitaet Berlin)

14:00-14:45 Silke Tammen/Romina Ebenhoech (Universitaet Giessen)
“Wearing Devotional Books”: Book-shaped Miniature Pendants (15th–16th 

14:45-15:30 Rostislav Tumanov (Universitaet Hamburg)
Devotional Experience in a Jewellery Case: The Peculiar Layouts of two 
Late Medieval Books of Hours

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-16:45 Thomas Rainer (Bayerische Schloesserverwaltung Muenchen)
Adoring God’s Name: Images of the Torah Case (Tik) and its Erasure in 
Medieval Jewish and Christian Manuscripts (13th–15th Century)

16:45-17:30 Maria Portmann (Universitaet Muenchen)
Jewish Writings and Holy Scripture in Christian Paintings in Spain 
during the Late Medieval Period

Saturday 11 October 2014

Chair: Tobias Frese (Universitaet Heidelberg)

9:00-9:45 David Ganz (The Medieval Institute, The University of Notre
Performativity and Punctuation: Reflections on Carolingian Passion 
Narratives and their Liturgical Role

9:45-10:30 Beatrice Kitzinger (Stanford University)
The Mantle of History: Carolingian-era Gospel Illumination in Narrative 

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-11:45 Anna Buecheler (Universitaet Zuerich)
Clothing the Saints: Two Textile-Ornamented Lives of Saints from the 
11th century

11:45-12:30 Tina Bawden (Freie Universitaet Berlin)
Clothing the Page: Topological Functions of Colour in Early Medieval 
Illuminated Manuscripts

12:30-14:00 Lunch Break

Chair: David Ganz (Universitaet Zuerich)

14:00-14:45 Eyal Poleg (Queen Mary College, University of London)
A Text without a Book, in the Middle Gilt and Ornate with Gems: The 
Bible in Liturgy and Courts of Law

14:45-15:30 Gia Toussaint (Universitaet Hamburg)
Two are Better than One: An Essay on Relics in Medieval Book Covers

15:30-16:00 Final Discussion

Organizers: Prof. Dr. David Ganz (Universitaet Zuerich), Prof. Dr.
Barbara Schellewald (Universitaet Basel)

Information: Sophie Schweinfurth (

See also:


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