Devotion and Memory. Conference of Contemporary Church History / Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte

Devotion and Memory. Conference of Contemporary Church History / Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte

University of Teacher Education Lucerne, Organised by Prof. Dr. Franziska Metzger (Luzern), member of the editorial board of Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte / Contemporary Church History, and Prof. Dr. Andrea Strübind (Oldenburg), chief editor of Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte / Contemporary Church History
Vom - Bis
16.11.2017 - 17.11.2017
Franziska Metzger

With Thomas Macho (Das zeremonielle Tier, 2004, 16-­‐17) religious rites can be conceptualised as “techniques of memory” that make the invisible present and comprehensible. This year’s conference of Contemporary Church History / Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte, an international peer reviewed journal, will deal with the thematic field of devotion and memory, concentrating on the late 19th and the 20th century. Questions regarding the functioning of religious practices in relation to memory in society – especially in relation to the often competing imagination of national identities creation – will be in the focus of the conference’s interest: How did/do religious practices deal with the dimensions of time and space? How did/do they link different dimensions of time and how do they create bonds between the temporal world and conceptions of eternity? How were/are they related to societal and political discourses, how were/are they used in the politicisation of religion? From a methodological point of view the conference looks at the complex relation between discourses and socio-­cultural practices, rites and language, symbols and emotions.

I. The dimension of memory in religious rites and discursive practices:
How did/do religious communities use and reflect dimensions of memory in defining practices and rites, for example in rites of commemoration? How does the dimension of memory in religious practices generate a sacralising effect? How does it “create” transcendence? In this first part a focus will lie on gender, religion and memory, especially on the body as lieu of religious imagination and transformation.

II. Uses of memory in religious-­‐national rites:
Questions such as how religious and national discourses of memory were/are entangled and how they were used in the creation of inclusion and exclusion in national and/or religious communities are central both with regard to memory studies as with regard to religious history focusing on the 19th and 20th century up to the present. Also in this field the analysis of practices, for example of mechanisms of visualisation and staging in national celebrations, in rites such as the Sacré Coeur, is of special interest.

III. Sacralisation of places and spaces through memory:
Religious spaces, specifically buildings as lieux de mémoire, their construction and transformation, as well as the creation of new sacred spaces through memory will build the third thematic focus.

The conference assembles specialists from Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, Finland and the United States.

One of the central aims of the conference is to build a forum for scholarly exchange and transfer beyond the group of speakers and other board members of Contemporary Church History to MA- and PhD-students and young scholars.


November 16th, University of Teacher Education Lucerne, “Zeughaus”, room ZH110

14.00 Opening of the Conference, welcome and introduction

Conceptual introduction

Franziska Metzger (Luzern): Devotion and Memory – Discourses and Practices

I. The dimension of memory in religious rites and (discursive) practices

Elke Pahud de Mortanges (Fribourg/Freiburg i.Br.): Gender, Religious Rites and Memory

Angela Berlis (Bern): Mediale Trauer um einen streitbaren religiösen Aktivisten: Hyacinthe Loyson (1827–1912)

Coffee break

II. Uses of memory in religious-­‐national rites (part I)

Markus Ries (Luzern): Schlachtjahrzeit. Wie die moderne Nation den religiösen Glauben verändert

Gerhard Besier (Dresden/Flensburg): Gebrauch von Gedächtnis in religiös-­nationalen Riten mit Beispielen aus der römisch-­katholischen Nationalkirche und der russisch-­orthodoxen Staatskirche

Jan de Maeyer (Leuven): The national basilica “Koekelberg” in Brussels and the “Ijzertoren” as a monument of Peace and the Flemish Nationalist Movement after WWI

18.15 Meeting of the KZG board

19.45 Dinner

November 17th, University of Teacher Education, “Zeughaus”, room ZH110

II. Uses of memory in religious-­‐national rites (part II)

David Neuhold (Fribourg): Frömmigkeit inmitten der Kreierung nationaler Symbolik: Das Herz-­Jesu, die Trikolore und die Anfänge der Dritten Französischen Republik (1870-­1940)

Anna Krolikowska (Szczecin): Fortunes of a community between the past and the future in the context of religious narratives. The Polish case

Coffee break

Robert Ericksen (Tacoma, WA): Devotion, Protestant Voters, and Religious Prejudice: 1930s Germany and Today’s America

Andrea Strübind (Oldenburg): The sacred in the secular – national holidays in the Federal Republic of Germany and the role of the churches since 1945


III. The sacralisation of places and spaces through memory

Tobias Weger (Oldenburg): Cluj-Napoca/Klausenburg – confessional memories in a multicultural town

Kimmo Katajala (Joensuu): The Old Cathedral of Vyborg as a Site of Memory

Anders Jarlert (Lund): Desacralisation and new “sacralisation” of religious buildings

Closure of the Conference


Prof. Dr. Franziska Metzger
Institut für Geschichtsdidaktik und Erinnerungskulturen
Pädagogische Hochschule Luzern
Frohburgstrasse 3
CH-6002 Luzern