IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 1013: Sacralisation and De-Sacralisation of Space, I

Wednesday 3 July 2019, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval Studies, Stockholms Universitet
Organiser:Kurt Villads Jensen, Historiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet
Moderator/Chair:Gustav Zamore, Historiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet
Paper 1013-aChristianization of Landscapes in Medieval Livonia
(Language: English)
Heiki Valk, Institute of History & Archaeology, University of Tartu
Heiki Valk, Institute of History & Archaeology, University of Tartu
Index terms: Crusades, Theology
Paper 1013-bSacred Spaces and the Desecration of Holy Sites and Objects in Medieval Iberian (Re)Conquest Narratives
(Language: English)
Kim Bergqvist, Historiska institutionen, Stockholms Universitet
Kim Bergqvist, Historiska institutionen, Stockholms Universitet
Index terms: Crusades, Theology
Paper 1013-cSacralization of the Battlefield in Late Medieval Historical Writing
(Language: English)
Susan Foran Tjällén, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap, Örebro Universitet
Susan Foran Tjällén, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap, Örebro Universitet
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - Middle English, Language and Literature - Other
Abstract

This panel considers the spatial aspects of medieval religious practice and conquest. It will consider space from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, all centred on the social construction of space and how it can be re-structured, challenged, and transformed through social practice.
As new territories were added to Christendom through warfare, landscapes were sacralised and symbolically incorporated into Christendom through the establishments of churches and chapels on pagan sites along with crosses along the roadsides.

As manifestations of power and hierarchy, sacred spaces were targeted during times of unrest and strife. Liturgies and processions were interrupted through carefully timed and staged interventions which collapsed the distinctions between sacred and secular spheres. During times of war, sacred statues were dismembered as if attacking them were an extension of the atrocities committed against the civilian population, as a way of depriving the laity of the materiality of the holy, and the assurance of a saint’s presence and intercession.