< April 2023 >
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Relics and Emotions Study Day

Relic 500 x 250

Relics of St Valerius, Weyarn, Germany. ©Paul Koudounaris, Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs (London: Thames and Hudson) 2013.

Relics and Emotions: An Interview with Professor Alexandra Walsham from History of Emotions on Vimeo.

Date: Friday 21 March, 2014
Time: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Venue: University College, The University of Melbourne, 40 College Crescent, Parkville

Registration: Due to an overwhelming response and full subscription, registration for this event is now closed.  If you have registered but are subsequently unable to attend, please advise Jessica Scott at jessica.scott@unimelb.edu.au

Download Relics and Emotions Program


Download Flyer

The study day will focus on the emotions involved in the veneration and rejection of relics, from the early Middle Ages to contemporary Australia. It will consider how relics function as objects of desire and derision, as instruments of power and sources of conflict, and as markers of personal, as well as local, regional or national identity. There will be a focus on the power of relics both to arouse and regulate emotions such as trust, hope or fear, and on the ways such emotions can be transformed by changing religious, social and political contexts. Papers will also explore how individual and collective emotional responses to relics have helped shape and strengthen, as well as divide and debilitate communities.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Alexandra Walsham (Keynote), (The University of Cambridge): ‘The Pope's Merchandise and the Jesuits' Trumpery: Catholic Relics and Protestant Polemic in Early Modern England’
  • Felicity Harley-McGowan (The University of Melbourne): ‘Biting off more than you can chew: emotional extremes in early medieval devotion to relics of the True Cross’
  • Helen Hickey (The University of Melbourne): ‘Liquid Relics and Fluid Emotions: Christ’s Tears and Blood in Premodern France’
  • Lisa Beaven (The University of Sydney): ‘Footsteps of an angel: Imprint relics in early modern Rome’
  • Matthew Martin (The National Gallery of Victoria): ‘Drinking the Health of the King – Jacobite Glasses as Relics’
  • Claire Walker (The University of Adelaide): ‘St Justin the Jacobite: Relics and Politics in the English Augustinian Convent in Paris, 1694–1720’
  • Charles Zika (The University of Melbourne): ‘Saints Eleutherius and Cyrillus at the Shrine of Mariazell (1650): reflections on the emotional powers of relics and images’
  • Constant Mews (Monash University): ‘Thomas Aquinas and Catherine of Siena: relics, images and living saints’
  • Sarah Randles (The University of Melbourne): ‘The Stuff of Miracles: The Cloth Relics of St Mary MacKillop and the Virgin of Chartres’


For further informaion, please download the program.