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Devotion, Objects and Emotion, 1300–1700

A symposium at The University of Melbourne.

Date: Friday 16 to Saturday 17 March 2018
Venue: Woodward Conference Centre, The University of Melbourne, 10th floor, Melbourne Law (Building 106), 185 Pelham Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Enquiries: Email Julie Davies (daviesja@unimelb.edu.au), telephone +61 3 8344 5981.
Registration: Please register via the link below by Monday 12 March 2018 for catering purposes. Costs are outlined in the link.
Unfortunately, registrations will not be available at the venue.

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Speakers will include:

  • Erin Griffey, The University of Auckland
  • Catherine Kovesi, The University of Melbourne
  • Matthew Martin, National Gallery of Victoria
  • Una McIlvenna, The University of Melbourne
  • Sarah Randles, The University of Melbourne
  • Kathryn Rudy, University of St Andrews
  • Johanna Scheel, Philipps-University Marburg
  • Patricia Simons, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  • Jenny Spinks, The University of Melbourne
  • Ulrike Strasser, University of California, San Diego
  • Jacqueline Van Gent, University of Western Australia
  • Anna Welch, State Library of Victoria

Religion is a cultural field in which emotions exercise a preeminent role. Feelings are integral to religion, and their significance is encapsulated in the concept of religious devotion. This symposium will focus on the relationships between religious devotion, objects and emotion in Europe between 1300 and 1700. Religious devotion promotes the exercise of a wide range of emotional expressions and behaviours that assume, communicate and give shape to the broader religious belief systems and cosmologies of which they are part. Objects used in religious practices accrue the power to arouse, channel and mediate our emotions; while their materiality and use in devotional practice can expand our understanding of the historical layering and expression of religious emotions, and how they change over time. In this way, devotional practices and objects provide a rich vantage point from which to explore the multifarious and fundamental role of emotions in individual and collective lives.

Image: Anton Wierix II, Jesus pierces with arrows the whole outer surface of the heart, plate 3 from the Cor Jesu amanti sacrum (The heart dedicated to the loving Jesus) series, late 16th to early 17th century, engraving. ©National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Felton Bequest, 1923 (1278.328-3).