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Call for Papers: Faith - Heresy - Magic: Manifestations of deviant beliefs and magical practices in the material culture of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Avatar of Philipp Weiss Philipp Weiss - 10. March 2020 - Call for papers

10th German Archaeology Congress
Kiel, 20-27 September 2020

Study groups “Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages” and “Christian Archaeology”, 22-23 September 2020

Faith - Heresy - Magic: Manifestations of deviant beliefs and magical practices in the material culture of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

The recording of beliefs beyond official Christian doctrines and confessions has a long tradition in the various disciplines dealing with Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. A key question is whether and how such notions of conflicting religious currents or of 'lived religion' are reflected in material culture. In addition, there are manifestations of magical practices that play a major role outside the actual sphere of religious practice. Their manifold traces are moving increasingly into the focus of archaeology. It is often difficult to separate them by definition: What is faith, what is superstition, and what is magic? Where are the dividing lines between the various competing Christian confessions? How much paganism is there in magic?

The basic assumption in early historic archaeology that objects with a certain decoration could per se say something about the beliefs of their owners is increasingly being questioned. The reconstruction of religious and magical practices is difficult in view of the few, often distorted written sources.

This year's meeting of the study group Late Antiquity, Early Middle Ages (AGSFM), and the study group Christian Archaeology (AGCA) on 22nd and 23rd September 2020 in Kiel on the topic of „Faith - Heresy - Magic - Manifestations of deviant beliefs and magical practices in the material culture of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages” will examine these various questions. The contributions are intended to present new research results taking into account the following aspects:

  • beliefs in the world of images
  • manifestations of (lived) piety and magic
  • appearances of sacred places beyond organisations institutionalised by the church
  • indications for dealing with 'heretical' or 'deviant' religious ideas
  • references to non-liturgical rituals and magical practices in the archaeological evidence

We gladly accept contributions from your work on this topic and welcome contributions in German and English. The length of your presentation should not exceed 20 minutes. Proposals for papers with a half-page written summary are requested by 22 March 2020 (Call for Papers has been extended!) to a.flueckiger@unibas.ch

Please also inform colleagues who may not have been contacted or invited directly by us. There is also the possibility of a poster presentation.

It should be noted that the study groups do not have their own funding and cannot pay for travel or accommodation costs. Participants are therefore kindly asked to cover their own expenses and to register for the conference.

Prof. Ute Verstegen (Chair AGCA)
Dr. Roland Prien (Spokesman AGSFM)
Dr. des. Anna Flückiger, Alexandra Hilgner M.A., Dr Michaela Helmbrecht (Advisory Board  AGSFM)

Study group “Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages” (AGSFM): https://agsfm.hypotheses.org/
Study group “Christian Archaeology” (AGCA): http://www.agca.de/

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