Call for Papers – Art and Articulation: Illuminating the Mystical, Medieval and Modern


Art and Articulation: Illuminating the Mystical, Medieval and Modern

When:  8th-9th January, 2016

Where:  St Hilda’s College, Oxford

The relationship between word and image, and the ways in which medieval art (be it visual, textual, or both) operates as a means of expressing the inexpressible, will be explored in a two-day conference held 8th-9th January 2016 at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, under the auspices of the Mystical Theology Network. This interdisciplinary conference will bring together theologians, art historians, and literary scholars to examine the ways in which various forms of artistic expression are used to articulate the mystical or that which cannot easily be spoken. The conference will investigate the role of art and its connection to forms of mystical knowing through various strands. From visual art, through optics, apophasis and ekphrasis to mystical theology, this multidisciplinary approach to illumination will shed new light on the role of art in mystical contemplation.

Keynote Speakers:

Barbara Baert (KU Leuven), Inigo Bocken (Titus Brandsma Instituut for the Study of Spirituality), Sheila Gallagher (Boston College), Vincent Gillespie (University of Oxford), Catherine Karkov (University of Leeds), Michael Kuczynski (Tulane University), Bernard McGinn (University of Chicago), William Prosser (Regent’s Park College, Oxford).

Call for Papers:

We welcome submissions for 20-minute papers and proposals for sessions of three 20-minute papers.

Topics may include, but are by no means confined to:

  • The interplay between mysticism and art, both visual and textual.
  • Art (visual, textual or both) as a means of communicating that which is hard to articulate.
  • Apophasis.
  • Theorisations of art and beauty and how these relate to notions of mysticism.
  • Transformative visions and the therapeutic effect of ‘seeing as’.
  • Medieval and modern ideas on optics, seeing and contemplation/mysticism.
  • The intersection between visual and textual art.
  • The role of illuminations and annotations in medieval manuscripts.
  • Ekphrasis.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to the conference organisers at by 1st September 2015.

This entry was posted in Call for Papers. Bookmark the permalink.