Online Conference: Paper Religion: Affordances and Uses in Christian Practices 1400 – 1800, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, May 27th–29th 2021

An international interdisciplinary scholarly symposium on the medium of paper, its affordances, and uses during a period of transition in early modern Christianity. Speakers bring into conversation different religious groups sharing a common dependency on paper for the distribution of new visual and textual cultures: from prints to drawings, from emblem books to sacred music.

The symposium will be held online and registration is free.
For the program, registration and other queries you can send an e-mail to


27th of May 
Keynote Speaker
David Morgan (Duke University) – Aura on Paper: Protestant Visual Piety in 19th-century United States.

First Panel
Orietta Da Rold (University of Cambridge) – The use of paper in clerical circles.

Daniel Bellingradt (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg) – The Paper Trade and Early Modern Paper Religions: On the hidden material flows of religious communication.

Megan Williams (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) – TBA.

28th of May
Second Panel

Andrew Pettegree (University of St. Andrews) – Religious Publishing and the salvation of print. Interrogating the Universal Short Title Catalogue.

Arthur der Weduwen (University of St. Andrews) – Religion and the Periphery of Print. The emergence and viability of the print trade in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Sabrina Corbellini (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) – Reading religious texts in an age of transition: reading materials and reading techniques.

Third panel

Erin Giffin (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) – Folding Visions of Faith into the Cult of Loreto through Print.

Nelleke Moser (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) – Paper, ink and the word of God: the disposal and repurposing of religious texts in 18th-century Dutch trompe-l’oeil books.

Mario Aschauer (Sam Houston State University) – Paper, Pen, and Pencil: Materiality in Sacred Works by German Composers around 1800.

29th of May
Fourth Panel

Benedetta Spadaccini (Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana) – Federico Borromeo and His Collection of Prints.

Hubert Meeus (Universiteit Antwerpen) – Printers and artists as messengers of the Church.

Walter S. Melion (Emory University) – The Heart on Paper: Materiality and Artisanship in the Paradisus precum selectarum (1610) of the Cistercian Sub-Prior Martin Boschman.

Respondent – Ann-Sophie Lehman (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)


Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

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