Conference: ‘The Role of the Senses in Medieval Liturgies and Rituals’, Università di Padova, 21-23 September 2022

Conference programme for 'The Role of the Senses in Medieval Liturgies and Rituals'

Padua, 21-23 September 2022 | Palazzo Bo – Aula Nievo

To attend online please register at the following link:

Conference programme

21 September 2022


Opening and Welcome:
Jacopo Bonetto, Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage, Università di Padova

Zuleika Murat, PI of the ERC SenSArt Project, Università di Padova


Session 1, (Chair: Zuleika Mura)
Holly Flora, Tulane University, The “Meditationes Vitae Christi” and Sight and Sound in Female Religious Experiences
Valentina Baradel, Università di Padova, “Un bien petit livret d’oroisons”: Sight, Sound, and Touch in the “Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux”
Martina Bordone, Università di Firenze, Through Body or Eyes: Experiencing Devotional Books in Late Medieval Italy


Coffee break


Laura Slater, University of Cambridge, Liturgical Music and Lay Devotion: Stimulating the Spiritual Senses
Leah R. Clark, University of Oxford, Sensing Devotion: Objects and their Sensorial Practices in the Collections of Eleonora d’Aragona, Duchess of Ferrara




Session 2, (Chair: Valentina Baradel)
Francesc Massip and Alba Knijff Massip, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Universitat de Barcelona
, With the Five Senses: Spectacular Devices for Engaging the Audience in the Middle Ages
Carla M. Bino, Università Cattolica di Milano, Moving Movements: The Relationship Between Animated Crucifixes and the Faithful in 14th Century Umbria
Sara Carreño, Università di Padova, Bodily Interactions and Sensorial Engagement in the Performative Rites of Late Medieval Santiago de Compostela


Coffee break


Gillian Hurst, University of Bristol, The Sensorium at Syon Abbey as Explored through Five Processionals: Phenomenology and the Expansion of the Sensorial Canon

Marta Simões and Joana Antunes, Universidade de Coimbra, Clad in Black / Bedecked with Flowers: Lent and Holy Week in Portuguese Medieval Churches



22 September 2022


Session 3 (Chair: Salvador Ryan)
Frederick Paxton, Connecticut College
, Engaging the Senses in the Death Ritual at Cluny
Florence Chave-Mahir, Independent Scholar, Exorcism in the Middle Ages: a Performance for All Senses
Sarah Hamilton, University of Exeter, Rites for Travellers


Coffee break


Micol Long, Università di Padova, Performances of Contrition and Compassion? An Inquiry Into the Development of a Medieval Ritual of Confession in the 13th Century
Ninon Dubourg, Université de Liège, The “Blind”, the “Deaf” and the “Dumb”: Liturgical Practices of Sensory and Mentally Disabled People
João Luís Inglês Fontes, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Liturgy and Religious Experience in Eremitical Communities: The Testimony of Male and Female Communities of Poor Life (Portugal, 14th-16th Centuries)




Session 4 (Chair: Micol Long)
Zuleika Murat, Università di Padova, Children in Medieval Christianity: Embodiment and the Senses in Liturgies, Rituals, and Prayers
Juliette Day, Helsingfors Universitet-University of Oxford, Blackfriars Hall, The Sensory Impoverishment of Chrismation in the Late Middle Ages


Coffee break


Ariana Sider, University of Toronto, Materiality, Sensory Experience, and Community in Late-Medieval Tournaisien Wills
Serena Franzon, Independent Scholar, Praying with the Senses: Sensory Engagement in Relation to Medieval Devotional Jewelry



23 September 2022


Session 5 (Chair: João Luís Inglês Fontes)
Brianne Dolce, University of Oxford
, Listening and Understanding in the “Acta Synodi Atrebatensis
Eugeen Schreurs and Wendy Wauters, Koninklijk
Conservatorium Antwerpen, KU Leuven
, Experiencing and Interpreting the Soundscape of the Late Medieval Church of Our Lady in Antwerp


Coffee break


Henry Parkes, University of Nottingham, Sound and Vision in the Fleury Night Office
Giovanni Varelli, University of Oxford, Sonorities and
Topographies of Medieval Liturgical Processions
Matteo Cesarotto and Lorenzo Barletta E.C., Université de Tours / CESR, Eremo di Monte Rua (Padua), “Et nullam omnino operis Dei partem cantando persolvant”: Music and the Camaldolese Hermits Liturgy




Session 6 (Chair: Sara Carreño)
Hólmfríður Sveinsdóttir, Universitetet i Oslo, Experiencing Miraculous Healing in Medieval Norway. Case Studies from the Museum of Cultural History
Elliott Wise, Brigham Young University, Epiphanies of Flesh and Light: Framing the Elevation with the Chasuble of the Golden Fleece
Katalin Suba, Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, The Crucifixion Scene on the Hungarian Coronation Mantle and its Liturgical Allusions







This conference is sponsored by the ERC StG Project “The Sensuous Appeal of the Holy: Sensory Agency of Sacred Art and Somatised Spiritual Experiences in Medieval Europe (12th-15th century) – SenSArt”.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 950248).

Organising Committee

  • Zuleika Murat, Università di Padova
  • Valentina Baradel, Università di Padova
  • Sara Carreño, Università di Padova

Scientific Committee:

  • Valentina Baradel, Università di Padova
  • Sara Carreño, Università di Padova
  • Matteo Cesarotto, Université de Tours / Centre d’études
  • supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR)
  • João Luís Inglês Fontes, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
  • Zuleika Murat, Università di Padova
  • Salvador Ryan, St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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