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Thinking with Rome: Space, Place and Emotion in the Making of the First World Religion

 

Date: Thursday 23 May 2013
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Copland Theatre, Basement, Arts West,The University of Melbourne
Speaker: Simon Ditchfield

Abstract: What happened to Rome and the idea of Rome in the age of the Counter-Reformation and of the missions to America and the Indies? Even as Roman Catholicism was 'going global' to an unprecedented extent, that pre-eminent symbol of its claims to universality, Rome, was being re-invented to a degree which arguably had not been seen since the fourth century CE. The papal Jubilee of 1575 effectively relaunched the city not only as a pilgrimage destination but also as a setting for the daily processions of what surely remains the most kinetic of world religions. This lecture will also examine how Roman Catholics all over the globe 'thought with Rome': not only via the Daily Office (and Roman Martyrology with its information about the city's martyrs), but also via its relics which were being exported at an unprecedented rate from the late 16th century.

Simon Ditchfield is Reader in History at the University of York, UK. He carried out his postgraduate research at the Warburg Institute, London and has been a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome (1988-89). In 1991-94 he held a British Academy postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of York. In 1998 he was elected to membership of the Accademia di San Carlo in Milan and to the fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in the UK. In 2006-08 he held a British Academy Research Leave Fellowship. Since 2010 he has been co-director of the AHRC-funded project "Conversion narratives in early modern Europe: a cross-confessional and comparative study, 1550-1700." He has published widely on the role of perceptions of the past in the construction of religious identity in the age of the Counter Reformation and is currently writing a book entitled: Papacy and Peoples: the making of Roman Catholicism as a world religion 1500-1700 for Oxford University Press.

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For more infomration contact: jessica.scott@unimelb.edu.au or +61 3 8344 5152