Online Conference – Liturgy, Literature & History: Oswald of Northumbria and the Cult of Saints in the High Middle Ages

Liturgy, Literature & History: Oswald of Northumbria and the Cult of Saints in the High Middle Ages
Online: 5th & 6th August 2021

The centrality of the cult of saints to medieval Christianity is reflected in surviving liturgical, historical, literary and administrative texts, material culture and architecture.  Too often, however, disciplinary boundaries mean these sources are studied in isolation from one another.  A multi-disciplinary approach is needed if we are to properly understand both the mechanisms by which saints’ cults spread and also the manner in which veneration of the saints drove other forms of political, cultural and social expression.  This conference, focussed on the cult of Oswald of Northumbria in the high Middle Ages, brings together historians, literary scholars, musicologists and art historians to explore the cult of saints through texts, objects, space, sound and the senses and particularly interrogates the influence of the liturgy on society.  The conference was intended to include a performance of Oswald’s feast-day liturgy drawn from Peterborough manuscripts and enacted in the space for which it was originally envisioned, we hope this recreation will be possible on Oswald’s feast day in 2022.

Convenor Dr Johanna Dale (UCL)

Conference format

This conference will take place via Zoom Webinar. Video presentations of the papers will be available to view from 2 weeks before the conference and the live element on 5th & 6th August will consist of discussion sessions.

Delegates will be sent a link to access the video presentations and details of how to join the webinar nearer the time. There will also be an optional informal social/discussion session on Thursday evening – details about how to join this will be shared during the webinar.

All the pre-recorded videos will have the option to turn on accurate closed caption subtitles and the discussion sessions will feature live captioning via a Caption Viewer URL. A transcript of the discussion sessions will be available after the conference by emailing with ‘transcript’ as the subject heading.

If you have any other access requirements that could support your involvement in the conference then please email with ‘access’ as the subject heading.


The conference is free and open to all. Please register for the live Webinar sessions using the links below. There is no need to register for the informal discussion as details about how to join this session will be shared during the Thursday Webinar.

Day 1: Thursday 5th August

Day 2: Friday 6th August

If you are interested in the conference but do not reside in a time zone that makes attendance at the live element plausible then you are still welcome to register for the conference. By registering you will be able to access the pre-recorded videos at times to suit you, to submit questions to speakers in advance of the live sessions and, by emailing with ‘transcript’ as the subject heading, to be sent a written transcript of the discussions after the conference ends.

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