Conference: Holy Bodies, Sacred Spaces (York, 2 May 2015)

University of York
Berrick Saul Building
Bowland Auditorium

The praesentia of holy bodies, the material remains of saints, is a
seminal aspect of late antique and medieval Christianity and has long
received scholarly attention. The art-historical debate on the eleventh
and twelfth centuries has focused, in particular, on pilgrimage, from
the monumental 1923 monograph by Arthur Kingsley Porter to the most
recent studies that examine the relationship between architecture and
pilgrims’ pathways in approaching holy bodies and venerated relics.
The idea of pilgrimage, however, unveils only a part of the richness of
the topic. In this conference, sponsored by the Department of History
of Art and the Centre for Medieval Studies of the University of York,
and funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Foundation Small Grant,
speakers are invited to reflect on the different layers of meaning
associated with the praesentia of holy bodies. What was, for example,
the ecclesiological relevance of the possession of holy bodies at a
given site? To what extent did the praesentia of a saint have an
institutional, or even political importance? And, finally, in which
ways have these aspects been materialised in architectural structures
or visualised in images?


10.30       Introduction
MICHELE LUIGI VESCOVI (University of York)

Image, Architecture and Memory
Chair: M. L. Vescovi

10.45    Transformative sculptures: the ‘graven image’ and the human
figure in Anglo-Saxon sculpture
JANE HAWKES (University of York)

11.15    Architectural provision for secondary saints, prospective
saints and the blessed
RICHARD PLANT (Christie’s Education)

11.45    Inscribing memory: Bernward and Saint Michael of Hildesheim
WILFRIED E. KEIL (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg)

12.15    Discussion

Locating Holy Bodies
Chair: T. Ayers

14.00    Moving the body of a saint: St John of Beverley and the
architecture of Beverley Minster
CHRISTOPHER NORTON (University of York)

14.30    Absent body, double bodies: visualizing Bologna’s civic cults
JESSICA N. RICHARDSON (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz –

Holy Bodies and Pilgrimage

15.00    The Apostle is present! A new setting for pilgrims in the
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
MANUEL CASTIÑEIRAS (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

15.30    Ubi populo, qui huius miraculi fama magnus in ecclesia
confluxerat, omnia hec sunt narrata. Saint-Gilles-du-Gard and
Saint-Trophime at Arles: recent archaeological investigations on two
major Romanesque pilgrimage churches in Southern France
ANDREAS HARTMANN-VIRNICH (Laboratoire d’Archéologie Médiévale et
Moderne en Méditerranée, LA3M UMR 7298 Aix-Marseille Université

16.00    Discussion

For further queries please contact the organiser, Michele Luigi Vescovi


Published by James Alexander Cameron

I am an art historian working primarily on medieval parish church architecture. I completed my doctorate on sedilia in medieval England in 2015 at The Courtauld Institute of Art.

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