Exegesis, Sermons, Liturgy: New Pathways in Crusade Studies

Exegesis, Sermons, Liturgy: New Pathways in Crusade Studies

Simon John, Alexander Marx and Wolf Zöller
Takes place
From - Until
03.11.2022 - 04.11.2022
Simon John, Department of History, Swansea University

A two-day conference, to be held on 3 & 4 November 2022, online via Zoom, at 13:00 to 18:30 Central European Time (both days).

Keynote speakers:

Jessalynn Bird, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame
Jay Rubenstein, University of Southern California

Exegesis, Sermons, Liturgy: New Pathways in Crusade Studies

It has long been recognised that the crusades were religious movements that developed out of and reflected Latin Christian devotional culture, synergising with vital dimensions of medieval Western spirituality such as pilgrimage, penance and eschatology. Yet, it is only in recent years that the intersections between the crusades and these facets of Latin Christian religious practice have been subjected to sustained and meaningful scholarly attention. The last decade or so has witnessed the appearance of a number of groundbreaking studies, such as those by Cecilia Gaposchkin on crusading liturgy, by Jessalynn Bird on recruitment, sermons and preaching, and by Philippe Buc and Jay Rubenstein on both exegesis and apocalypticism. Nevertheless, much more work remains to be done, especially with respect to the wider context of contemporary ecclesiastical history. Indeed, these vital contributions have pointed the way forward, charting new vistas for crusade studies, and bringing attention to new or neglected source material including biblical commentaries, liturgical manuals, and sermon collections. This work has also highlighted important methodological challenges, emphasising the need for scholars of the crusades to develop a range of skills and competences.

The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars at all stages working in the above-mentioned fields and encourage further development in and between these innovative areas of research. The organisers welcome proposals for 20-minute papers (in English) that deal with the connection between crusading, crusade preaching, crusade ideology, or crusade commemoration on the one hand and theology, exegesis, sermons, liturgy, or apocalypticism on the other. Ultimately, the conference seeks to enhance understanding of the place of crusading in Latin Christian ecclesiastical and religious culture, and inspire debates on how the biblical metatext, disseminated via different media and in a variety of settings and circumstances, caused, shaped, and commemorated the crusades.



All times are listed in Central European Time [CET]; GMT = -1; EST = -5; PST = -7

Thursday 3 November

13:00-13:30: Welcome & Introduction

Simon John (Käte Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies, Heidelberg University/Swansea University), Alexander Marx (Historical Seminar, Heidelberg University/Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Austria) and Wolf Zöller (Historical Seminar, Heidelberg University)

13:30-15:00: Session 1 - Conceptualising and Memorialising the Early Crusades: Scripture and Exegesis

Chair: Simon John

- Tim Weizel (Regensburg University), ‘The Crusades as “Holy War”? The place of the First Crusade between Violence and Peace’

- Mihai Dragnea (University of South-Eastern Norway), ‘Conquest, Holy War, and Crusade in the so-called Magdeburg Letter of 1108’.

- Carol Sweetenham (Warwick University/Royal Holloway), ‘“Legitur in Historia Antiochena”: Reflecting and Refracting the First Crusade in Later Sermon Exempla’

15:00-15:30: Break

15:30-17:00: Session 2 - The Latin East: Identity, Liturgy, Geography

Chair: Wolf Zöller

- Matthias Ausloos (Catholic University of Louvain), ‘Adorabimus in loco ubi steterunt pedes eius. The Physical Reality of the Holy Land and the Liturgy of the Holy Sepulchre in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099-1187’

- Anastasia Sirotenko (Friedrich Meinecke Institute, Berlin), The Latin Feasts of the Cross in Twelfth-Century Jerusalem: Tradition vs Innovation?’

- Bartłomiej Dźwigała (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw), ‘Some Remarks on Invented Past and Collective Memory in the Latin East’

17:00-17:30: Break

17:30-19:00: Keynote Paper 1

Chair: Nikolas Jaspert (Heidelberg University)

Jessalynn Bird (Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame), ‘Holy Warriors and Reformers: The Maccabees in Exegesis and Crusade Sermons’

Friday 4 November

13:30-15:00: Session 3 – New Approaches to Crusading in the Later Middle Ages: Preaching, Gender, Devotion

Chair: Simone Lombardo (Heidelberg University)

- Andrew Bull (University of Glasgow), ‘Crusading rhetoric and hatred in the music of medieval St Andrews’

- Katerina Kiltzanidou (Democritus University of Thrace [Komotini]), ‘The western influence in female church donors of Laconia after the defeat of Crusaders (1262-1432)’

- Valentin Portnykh (Novosibirsk State University), ‘Humbert of Romans used in the fifteenth century: an Exhortatio for the anti-Ottoman crusade in the manuscript from Melk, Stiftsbibliothek 1799’

15:00-15:30: Break

15:30-17:30: Session 4: Roundtable Discussion, “Exegesis, Sermons, Liturgy: the Past and Future of Crusades Studies”

Chair: Alexander Marx

Featuring opening contributions from scholars including: John D. Cotts (Whitman College), Simon John (CAPAS/Swansea), Iris Shagrir (The Open University of Israel), Georg Strack (University of Marburg)

17:30-18:00: Break

18:00-19:30: Keynote Paper 2

Chair: Aaron Vanides (Heidelberg University)

Jay Rubenstein (University of Southern California), ‘Apocalypse and Narrative: How a Franciscan Named Alexander Tried to Revolutionize Revelation’

19:30: Concluding Remarks

This conference is kindly supported by:

Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Austria

- Käte Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies (CAPAS), Universität Heidelberg, Germany

- Swansea University, Wales, UK

- Universität Heidelberg, Germany

Contact (announcement)

E-Mail: crusades2022@zegk.uni-heidelberg.de