A response to: Marco Di Branco. Review of Luigi Andrea Berto, Christians and Muslims in Early Medieval Italy: Perceptions, Encounters, and Clashes. Speculum 97/4 (2022): 1159-60. doi: 10.1086/721886.

Author’s Response (Luigi Andrea Berto, Western Michigan University)

Before presenting a qualitative answer to Marco Di Branco’s review of my book, it is necessary to present some data. The review is 986 words long. The first paragraph (86 words) briefly describes the activities of the Muslims in Italy during the early Middle Ages. The second paragraph (212 words) mentions—according to the reviewer, of course—the main points of the book. The third and the fourth paragraphs (659 words) emphasize the weaknesses of the book. In the conclusion (29 words), Di Branco states that “despite these shortcomings, the book remains a useful tool.” The lengths of the different sections indicate clearly that this is a very unbalanced review.

I will not comment here on the first paragraph. The staff of Speculum has taken care of the issues related to it. The description of the book says almost nothing about its contents, the main goal of which is to present the views of both the Christians and the Muslims in early medieval Italy. Moreover, the reviewer made some remarkable mistakes which indicate that he read the book very quickly (to say the least).

According to Di Branco, “it should also be emphasized that the negative vision of Muslims (which was transmitted almost unchanged to the historiography of the immediately following centuries) is particularly accentuated in the writings of the populations of the southern regions, more subject to incursions, while the historiography of northern Europe certainly does not identify Muslims as the enemy par excellence.” First, my book is about Italy not about Europe, so the reference to “historiography of northern Europe” is completely misplaced. Second, the fourth chapter of the book, “Some Light in the Darkness: Reading between the Lines of the Zealots’ Criticism,” unmistakably proves that in the works of some southern Italian authors, i.e., the writers who lived in the area that was “more subject to incursions,” there are several instances of nuanced descriptions of the Muslims which are absent in the texts produced by northern Italian writers. My book, therefore, says exactly the opposite of what Di Branco has stated.

Third, in the section of the review dealing with the perceived “weaknesses” of the book, Di Branco makes the following critique:

In the first place, there is no clear historical framework that guides the reader in the complex concatenation of events that involved Christians and Muslims in southern Italy between the ninth and twelfth centuries: in particular, there is no precise awareness of the fact that the Islamic presence in mainland Italy was linked to a structured and planned attempt at conquest, about which there are evident traces in the available documentation (see, for example, F. Marazzi, “Ita ut facta videatur Neapolis Panormus vel Africa: Geopolitica della presenza islamica nei domini di Napoli, Gaeta, Salerno e Benevento nel IX secolo,” Schede Medievali 45 [2007]: 159–202).

However, it is evident from the introduction of the book that my goal was not to write a narrative history. I believe that for a book addressed to non-specialists, but based on the analysis of the primary sources, a brief summary of events (provided in the introduction) is enough. One could write an encyclopedia about the Muslim attacks on southern Italy and, above all, about how those events have been interpreted and distorted.

More significantly, the available primary sources do not indicate that in the ninth century “the Islamic presence in mainland Italy was linked to a structured and planned attempt at conquest” at all. (Two tenth tenth-century authors, Liudprand of Cremona and Benedict of Soratte, transformed the creation of some Muslim bases in the mainland into attempts of conquest for propaganda motives.) The article cited by Di Branco to support his conquest theory (a piece written by F. Marazzi), relied on outdated editions of the sources, misinterpreted several other sources, and did not take into consideration some scholarship written in the early 2000s. The reviewer recently wrote a book (915. La battaglia del Garigliano: Cristiani e musulmani nell’Italia medievale [2019]) trying to support his argument but he misinterpreted many sources and ignored many others. I have already written an article discussing the main issues of his book (“Terra conquistata/di conquista e predoni-jihadisti. Fonti e recente storiografia sui musulmani nell’Italia peninsulare altomedievale,” Mediterranean Chronicle 11 [2021]: 141–59).

Di Branco then takes issue with the utilization of the source material: “it is rather surprising to note that the author uses in a very limited way the Arabic sources, which are always cited from the old Italian version of the Bibliotheca arabo-sicula by Michele Amari, a custom from which it is now necessary to emancipate oneself in order to better contextualize the information provided by the Islamic historians.” It is true that I do not know Arabic and I never claimed that I know it. Nonetheless, I have used all the relevant Arabic sources, most of which are available, unfortunately, only in a nineteenth century Italian translation. (A few years ago, Giuseppe Mandalà stated that he is preparing a new translation of those sources. I look forward to it.) Beside the texts I have used in my book, there are no other relevant Arabic sources about that period, with the exception of brief excerpts that can be useful for an histoire évenementielle but, again, this was not the goal of my book. In the appendix of the volume, I briefly described both Christian and Muslim sources.

Finally, Di Branco states, “The lack of direct knowledge of Arab sources and, more generally, of the Islamic historical, religious, and cultural context, is also a source of misunderstandings of some importance. For example, the author does not clearly explain the origin of the name ‘Saracens,’ which Latin (and Greek) sources use to define Muslims.” Di Branco adds 408 words about this point! First, the “Greek” origin of the name “Saracen” has nothing to do with “direct knowledge of Arab sources and, more generally, of the Islamic historical, religious, and cultural context.” Second, of course I know how some Arabs were defined before the rise of Islam. Again, my book is about early medieval Italy and I believe that the “Greek” origin of that definition is irrelevant for the early medieval Italian context. Moreover, as I emphasized in an article about the biographies of the early medieval Sicilian and Calabrian saints (“Musulmani e cristiani nell’agiografia sui santi siculo-calabresi altomedievali,” Mediterranean Chronicle 9 [2019]: 103–48), those texts mainly use the terms “Agarenes” and “Ishmaelites” and some of them refer to the supposed biblical origin of the words “Saracens,” “Agarenes,” and “Ishmaelites” as the Latin sources did. So, the very long display of erudition by Di Branco is completely out of place.

I leave it to the reader to decide if this book review engages meaningfully and accurately with the book.


Reviewer’s Response (Marco Di Branco, Università di Roma La Sapienza)

I would like to thank L. A. Berto for his reply: I think that debates and even controversies are always interesting and useful, provided that the limits of mutual respect are not crossed and the discussion does not descend into a clash reminiscent of Cavalleria rusticana.

As far as content is concerned, I would like to reply briefly to three of Berto’s objections to my review.

1) According to Berto, his analysis of the documents “unmistakably proves that in the works of some southern Italian authors . . . there are several instances of nuanced descriptions of the Muslims.” I agree. In fact, I wrote that from some of the texts examined by Berto, it clearly emerges that Muslims “were not considered the embodiment of evil or even that they had been the worst opponents of the Christian people; indeed, in some cases they had shown humanity, a dowry that on the contrary many Christian rulers had shown not to possess.” And yet, the texts cited by Berto in the third chapter of his book constitute an important exception in a landscape strongly characterized by an anti-Muslim sentiment. An over-emphasis on this “anomaly” risks losing sight of the overall context. Moreover, Berto misses that my statement on the importance of a comparison between the historiography of Northern Europe and the Italian one is not, of course, a critique of Berto’s work, but represents a general observation made by me. In fact, Berto does not undertake such a comparison. It is instead present in a fundamental work by Norman Daniel (The Arabs and Mediaeval Europe [1979]) and from it we can deduce important information useful for understanding and better contextualizing the Italian situation.

2) Regarding the question of the origin of the names “Saracens,” “Ishmaelites,” and “Agarenes,” I must reiterate that in a book addressed to non-specialists it would have been extremely useful to explain, even briefly, the meaning and the etymology of the various terms by which Muslims are described in Latin sources.

3) According to Berto, the available primary sources do not indicate that in the ninth century the Islamic presence in mainland Italy was linked to a structured and planned attempt at conquest. The question is: what kinds of sources? This is not the place to discuss this complex problem, but here I would like to point out that this apodictic observation is based exclusively on Latin sources, without even a complete analysis of those actually available. To take one example, in his account of the ǧihād by the emir of Ifrīqiyya Ibrāhīm II (p. 42), on which the historian Ibn al-Atīr gives us important details (Ibn al-Athiri, Chronicon quod perfectissimum inscribitur, ed. C. J. Tornberg, 14 vols. [1851–76], 6:350 and 7:195–99), Berto (who however admits that the emir “was planning to conquer the southern part of the Italian Peninsula” [57]) does not mention that, according to Ibn al-Atīr, this ǧihād would have initially had the purpose of conquering the Sicilian strongholds (ḥuṣūn) that still resisted the Muslims, but his ultimate goal would have been much more ambitious: that is, to seize Constantinople (al-Qusṭanṭīniyya). As Mohamed Talbi rightly notes, “les sources latines et arabes s’accordent pour prêter ce rêve à Ibrāhīm” (L’émirat aghlabide [186296/800909]: Histoire politique, [1966], 321 n. 1). In fact, the will to conquer Constantinople is explicitly attributed to Ibrāhīm also by the Acta translationis sancti Severini of the Neapolitan chronicler Ioannes Diaconus (who lived between the ninth and tenth centuries), in which the author recalls the measures taken by the cities of southern Italy in anticipation of the attack of Ibrāhīm and reports a declaration by the emir, who claims to want to seize Rome and Constantinople (“Vadant tantum et certo certius teneant, quia non solum illos, verum etiam et civitatem Petruli senis destruam. Hoc enim unum restat, ut Constantinopolim proficiscar et conteram in impetu fortitudinis meae”: Acta translationis sancti Severini, ed. G. Waitz [1878], 452–59, at 455). Furthermore, the vita of Saint Elias the Younger (Vita di sant’Elia il Giovane, ed. and trans. Giuseppe Rossi Taibbi [1962], 82) and various Byzantine historical sources show that the situation in southern Italy after the fall of Taormina greatly worried the emperor Leo VI, leading him to allocate a considerable sum of money to support the Byzantine army established in Calabria (see, for example, from the Corpus Scriptorium Historiae Byzantinae, edited by Immanuel Bekker: Ioannes Cameniata, De excidio Thessalonicensi [1838], 59, p. 569; Theophanes continuatis, 6.20–21, pp. 366–67; Georgius Monachus, 20, p. 862 and 29–30, pp. 862–64; Leo Grammaticus [1842], p. 277; as well as Symeonis Magistri et Logothetae Chronicon, ed. Staffan Wahlgren [2006], 32.41, p. 286).

Berto, who explicitly states that he does not know Arabic, should equip himself. Languages are in fact a fundamental key to enter a complex world such as that of medieval southern Italy. It’s never too late.


Author’s Reply (Luigi Andrea Berto, Western Michigan University)

I wish to thank Marco Di Branco for his comments to my response to his book review. I concur that debates are always useful. However, I am puzzled about his reference to “mutual respect” and even more so about his reference to “Cavalleria rusticana.” Probably Di Branco does not like to be told that he copied the first paragraph of his review verbatim from the publisher’s description of the book that he was to review and that he wrote an extremely unbalanced review (to say the least).

This is not the place to dwell on lengthy analyses. So I invite those interested in Christian-Muslim interactions to read the book and, if they wish, decide how relevant Di Branco’s remarks are.

Let me just remind the reader that I have mentioned the Muslims’ attempts to conquer Italy (it would be better to say a part of it) in 902 and in the 970s and 980s that went no further than Cosenza (Calabria, i.e., the tip of the Italian peninsula) (p. 5). I also examined how Emir Ibrahim II (d. 902) is described in Latin and Greek hagiographic texts, pointing out that those sources are more useful for understanding the mindset of their authors and audiences than they are for reconstructing events (pp. 81, 85). I wonder what book Di Branco has read.

I agree with Di Branco that languages are a fundamental key for examining early medieval southern Italy. Equally important is learning to work as professional historians. Fortunately, since nineteenth-century positivism, many steps have been taken in this field. I agree that it is never too late to learn.

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Upcoming MAA Webinars

The Medieval Academy of America is very pleased to support these upcoming webinars:

March 24, 2023, noon – 1:30 PM EDT: The Race & Gender Working Group presents Roland Betancourt, Professor of Art History (University of California, Irvine): “The Case of Manuel I Komnenos: Articulating Identity through Gender, Sexuality, and Racialization.” Click here for more information.

March 29, 2023, 7 PM EDT: The MAA Graduate Student Committee presents “Medievalists Beyond the Academy,” moderated by Kersti Francis and Will Beattie. Click here for more information.

April 12, 2023, 3 – 4:30 PM EDT: The MAA Inclusivity & Diversity Committee presents “Medieval Crip Theory: New Approaches and Provocations,” moderated by Heide Estes (Monmouth University) and Nahir Otaño-Gracia (University of New Mexico). Click here for more information.

April 18, 2023, 10:30 AM – noon EDT: The Graduate Student Committee presents a Community Outreach Workshop. The GSC has in recent years emphasized both a focus on building a global community of graduate students studying the Middle Ages and on developing public-facing content about the medieval period for specialists and non-specialists alike. In this workshop, we seek to bring these two nodes together. How can we take medieval studies outside of the university classroom (and the home office) and into the wider community? How do we identify interested communities? What kinds of projects are effective for communicating information about the Middle Ages responsibly? In this workshop, the GSC seeks to assist participants in creating opportunities for community engagement by bringing together a panel of medievalists who have created such projects. More information coming soon!

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Online Lecture: Chôra and the Creation of Sacred Space in Byzantine Architecture

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is pleased to announce the final lecture in its 2022–2023 lecture series.

Thursday, March 30, 2023 | 12:00 PM EDT | Zoom
Chôra and the Creation of Sacred Space in Byzantine Architecture
Jelena Bogdanović, Vanderbilt University

Can we talk about Byzantine architecture beyond buildings? What is at stake?
This presentation engages with the scholarly opportunities for theoretical considerations of sacred architecture in light of Byzantine intellectual and creative practices. Primarily focusing on principles of architectural design, sacred space is highlighted here not as an abstract category nor as a specific sacred place or location but rather as a combination of the two. As such, sacred space points to a historical and evocative locale and associated events; yet it remains inseparable from its essential qualities. By revisiting the architectural design of Byzantine churches, this talk will demonstrate the meaningful relations between created sacred space and the faithful, between physical objects in space, and the significance of non-material aspects of built structures in communicating the vitality of architectural form as a kind of participatory icon of space. Especially important is the philosophically and architecturally suggestive concept of chôra (χώρα) and its cognate hypodochē (υποδοχή), originally introduced by Plato in his instrumental text Timaeus. This presentation will analyze the relevance of chôra and hypodochē for understanding the modes of creation of sacred space and religious architecture in the late antique and Byzantine Mediterranean.

Jelena Bogdanović (Ph.D. Princeton University) is an Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Classical and Mediterranean Studies at Vanderbilt University. She studies cross-cultural and religious themes in the architecture of the Balkans and Mediterranean.

Advance registration required at https://maryjahariscenter.org/events/chora-and-the-creation-of-sacred-space

Contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

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Jobs For Medievalists

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) invites applications for four grant-funded cataloging positions.

·   Cataloger of Armenian Manuscripts

·   Cataloger of Ethiopic Manuscripts

·   Cataloger of Slavic Manuscripts

·   Cataloger of Western Manuscripts

Founded in 1965, HMML holds the world’s largest archive of manuscript photographs in both microfilm and digital format. HMML identifies manuscript collections around the world that need photographic preservation and online access. Its archives now contain more than 500,000 complete manuscripts, ranging in size from large codices of hundreds of folios to brief documents consisting of just a few leaves. Candidates are asked to complete an application form and submit a cover letter and resume. For access to the full position descriptions and to apply, please visit: https://www.schooljobs.com/careers/csbsju/osb (edited) 

Direct links to the individual job postings:

Armenian: https://www.schooljobs.com/careers/csbsju/osb/jobs/3933885/cataloger-of-armenian-manuscripts

Ethiopic: https://www.schooljobs.com/careers/csbsju/osb/jobs/3933834/cataloger-of-ethiopic-manuscripts

Slavic: https://www.schooljobs.com/careers/csbsju/osb/jobs/3933376/cataloger-of-slavic-manuscripts

Western: https://www.schooljobs.com/careers/csbsju/osb/jobs/3932921/cataloger-of-western-manuscripts

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Rebecca Lynn Winer receives 2023 Bonnie Wheeler Fellowship Award

(Dallas, TX) Rebecca Lynn Winer, associate professor at Villanova University, is the recipient of the 2023 Bonnie Wheeler Fellowship.

Established to honor well-known medievalist Bonnie Wheeler, The Bonnie Wheeler Fellowship Fund of The Dallas Foundation supports the research of women medievalists with tenure below the rank of full professor. In addition to a generous stipend, each recipient is paired with a distinguished mentor in the field who engages with the recipient and her project to its successful completion. The fellowship aims to help women who have been at the associate level for too long to get “unstuck” and move to full professor. In addition, the Fellowship cultivates women as academic leaders.

Rebecca Lynn Winer will receive the $25,000 fellowship and the support of a mentor in her field as she completes her research in breastfeeding, mothering, sexuality, and reproductive work among free and enslaved women in Medieval Catalonia and beyond. The fellowship will allow Professor Winer to work on her book project, Sweet Milk? Wet Nurses, Mothers, and the Medieval Jews and Christians of Catalonia and Beyond, which deals with breastfeeding as a central concern in the lives of most medieval women.  The economy of women’s bodies and their work as caregivers entails biopolitics of medieval religious difference and slavery, Christian-Jewish relations, and global connections from Europe to Latin America.

Chair of the Selection Committee, Professor Anne Yardley, Drew Theological School (retired), noted that the committee expressed “great enthusiasm for Professor Winer’s ground-breaking book project which ranges across geographical boundaries in methodological approach, across linguistic worlds in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic, and across wide-ranging archival sources. We are eager to see this cross-cultural, interdisciplinary book come to fruition.”

Professor Winer received her PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Her first book, Women, Wealth, and Community in Perpignan c.1250-1300: Christians, Jews, and Enslaved Muslims in a Medieval Mediterranean Town (Ashgate Publishing Company, 2006) was shortlisted for the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship Book Prize, and another work which she co-edited with Federica Francesconi, Jewish Women’s History from Antiquity to the Present (Wayne State University Press, 2021) was “the finalist” for the Barbara Dobkin Award, the National Jewish Book Award in the category of Women’s Studies.

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Online Lecture: Divine King or Sacrilegious Upstart? The Portrait of Emperor Yǝkunno Amlak in Gännätä Maryam

East of Byzantium is pleased to announce the next lecture in its 2022–2023 lecture series.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 | 12:00 PM EDT | Zoom
Divine King or Sacrilegious Upstart? The Portrait of Emperor Yǝkunno Amlak in Gännätä Maryam
Jacopo Gnisci | University College London

In the third quarter of the thirteenth century Yǝkunno Amlak led a rebellion against the Zagwes – a line of Christian rulers who had been in control of most of the Empire of Ethiopia since at least the first half of the twelfth century. He initiated a line that would rule the country until the twentieth century: the Solomonic dynasty. Apart from these general facts, we know relatively little about the life of the first emperor of this dynasty. In this paper I hope to further our understanding of Yǝkunno Amlak’s reign and visual strategies by focusing on his only known contemporary portrait in the church of Gännätä Maryam. By analysing this image in its wider setting, I aim to shed some light on its socio-political background and reflect on the reactions it might have triggered.

Jacopo Gnisci is a Lecturer in the Art and Visual Cultures of the Global South at University College London and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Africa, Oceania, and the America at the British Museum. He is the co-Principal Investigator of the projects Demarginalizing medieval Africa: Images, texts, and identity in early Solomonic Ethiopia (1270-1527) (AHRC Grant Ref. no. AH/V002910/1; DFG Projektnummer 448410109) and Material Migrations: Mamluk Metalwork across Afro-Eurasia (Gerda Henkel Stiftung).

Advance registration required. Register: https://eastofbyzantium.org/upcoming-events/

Contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

An East of Byzantium lecture. EAST OF BYZANTIUM is a partnership between the Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University and the Mary Jaharis Center that explores the cultures of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine empire in the late antique and medieval periods.

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Call for Sessions: Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel, 49th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference

As part of its ongoing commitment to Byzantine studies, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 49th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference to be held at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, October 26–29, 2023. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

The conference will be in-person only.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website. The deadline for submission is April 3, 2023.

If the proposed session is accepted, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse a maximum of 5 session participants (presenters and chair) up to $800 maximum for scholars based in North America and up to $1400 maximum for those coming from outside North America. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement. Participants must participate in the conference in-person to receive funding. The Mary Jaharis Center regrets that it cannot reimburse participants who have last-minute cancellations and are unable to attend the conference.

For further details and submission instructions, please visit https://maryjahariscenter.org/sponsored-sessions/49th-bsc.

Please contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

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Call for Papers – Frontiers, Borders, & Borderlands in the Early Global World

The officers of UCLA MEMSA  announce this year’s conference, “Frontiers, Borders, & Borderlands in the Early Global World,” to be held in the UCLA Humanities Seminar Room, 306 Royce Hall, on June 2, 2023, as a hybrid event. MEMSA invites submissions from graduate students in any discipline of medieval and early modern studies, at UCLA and beyond. Abstracts of 250 words are due April 10. Please email them to memsa.ucla@gmail.com. Acceptances will be sent by April 20. More information at https://cmrs.ucla.edu/memsa/cfp-frontiers-borders-borderlands-in-the-early-global-world/

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MAA Graduate Student Committee Webinar – Medievalists Beyond the Academy

MAA Graduate Student Committee Webinar:
Medievalists Beyond the Academy

Join the MAA Graduate Student Committee on March 29th, 2023 at 7 pm EST for a panel on employment for medievalists outside of what we traditionally envision as the “academy” (university-based research and teaching). From grant writing and archival management to secondary education and academic publishing, our participants represent a wide range of experience levels and professional opportunities. In this conversation moderated by GSC members Kersti Francis and Will Beattie, panelists will share their pathways from their PhD to their current position, followed by a live Q and A with questions submitted by our audience. We hope you can join us!

Panelists include:

Dr. Joaneath Spicer, James A. Murnaghan Curator of European Art 1400-1700 at the Walters Art Museum
Dr. Lucy Hinnie, Wikimedian-in-Residence at the British Library
Dr. Kacie Morgan, Grants Manager at HealthRIGHT360
Dr. Rebecca Straple-Sovers, Marketing Specialist at Medieval Institute Publications

Click here to register.

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Medieval Religion: its topicality, methods and sources

Medieval Religion: its topicality, methods and sources
Summer School June June 22nd-June 27th
(Thursday-Saturday; Monday-Tuesday)


In society today, medieval religion is omnipresent. This is not only true in European city- and village-scapes, where medieval churches are still dominant features, but also in popular media such as games and television as well as in politics, where the Middle Ages are invoked either as the epitome of backwardness and cruelty, or as the golden age of white supremacy, true spirituality, and selfless heroism (to name but a few of the widely diverse images that the phrase ‘Middle Ages’ gives rise to). In the summer school students will be challenged by specialists in the field of medieval religion to position and develop their own research in relevant scholarly and cultural contexts. The instructors will give masterclasses from their own specialties (e.g. intellectual history, heretical and reform movements, interreligious relations, liturgy, gender and diversity). Groningen is an eminent place for a school on medieval religion, not only because of the unique expertise of the staff, added to with lecturers from the USA (funded by Fulbright) and Nijmegen, but also because its land- and cityscapes offer a clear example of the presence of the Middle Ages.

The school will be offered on site and hybridly.

Learning aims:

After this summer school:

  • Students can situate medievalist research, especially their own, in current scholarly, societal and cultural debates.
  • Students can critically reflect on the uses of contemporary theories of religion to the study of the Middle Ages and, if helpful, apply these creatively in their medievalist research.
  • Students can critically reflect on the contemporary relevance and topicality of medieval studies.
  • At an advanced level, students get to be trained in the setting up of medievalist research projects and the study of sources, with an eye to publication and acquiring funding.
  • Students can assess sources and literature in the interest of their own projects as shown in a presentation and a reflection paper.

Target groups:

  • Graduate Students .e.g. Master and Research Master students
  • Postgraduate students e.g. PhD students and postdocs.



  • Participation
  • Presentation on the last day on how to use the material of the summer school in one’s research
  • Reflection paper on how to use the material of the summer school in one’s research. 1500 words max.

Academic coordinator:

Dr. Mathilde van Dijk, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Oude Boteringestraat 38, 9712 GK Groningen, mathilde.van.dijk@rug.nl.

Register at:

Medieval Religion | University of Groningen Summer Schools (rug.nl) April 1st at the latest; confirmation of your acceptance will follow before April 15th.

Image: Our Sweet Lady Star of the sea  in Maastricht, 15th century statue, still a major target for pilgrimage today, source Maria – Gereformeerde Kerk PKN Lunteren (gklunteren.nl)

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