Call for Papers for Special Edition of Religions

This Special Issue of Religions will focus on lived religion and devotional practices as found in the domestic settings of medieval Europe from c.1000 to c.1550. More particularly, it will investigate to what degree the experience of personal or familial religious practice in the domestic realm and the more public expression of faith in liturgical or communal settings intersected.

In choosing this theme, this Special Issue wishes to build on the significant research that has been undertaken in recent years on domestic devotion in the early modern period, most notably the volumes produced by the ERC-funded interdisciplinary project Domestic Devotions: The Place of Piety in the Italian Renaissance Home, but also in other studies such as Jessica Martin and Alec Ryrie (eds), Private and Domestic Devotion in Early Modern Britain (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012) and Domestic Devotions in Early Modern Italy, ed. Maya CorryMarco Faini and Alessia Meneghin (Leiden: Brill, 2018). More broadly, in 2014 the Ecclesiastical History Society chose for its 50th volume of Studies in Church Historythe theme Religion and the Household, which contains, among others, at least twelve contributions on the early modern period.

The specific topic of medieval domestic devotion has been slower to generate significant treatments such as those mentioned above, although there have been fine edited collections such as Defining the Holy: Sacred Space in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. Andrew Spicer and Sarah Hamilton (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), which contain a number of medieval essays, and helpful article contributions by Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane (‘”Medieval Domestic Devotion”, History Compass 11:1 (2013)) and others. This issue aims to respond, in part, to the final section of this article, which sets out some directions for future research. Therefore, it especially welcomes contributors who may wish to consider the relationship between domestic religious practice across medieval Christianity, Judaism and Islam, or to focus in particular on any one of the three faiths. Elisheva Baumgarten’s Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014) and Megan H. Reid’s Law and Piety in Medieval Islam (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) serve as excellent exemplars of this kind of study.

This Special Issue also wishes to broaden the geographical range of enquiry: thus, while we welcome contributors writing on Western Europe, articles which examine aspects of domestic devotion in Central and Eastern Europe are particularly encouraged to submit proposals.          

Topics which might be covered include: books of hours and their use; the domestication of devotion to public images through the production of printed replicas for households; the construction of sacred space in the home; the use of candles, icons, relics, prayer mats, altars, pilgrimage badges, agnus deis, holy water; the communal reading of religious or devotional texts; the practice of fasting; the recitation of prophylactic prayers and the gestures associated with them; the portrayal of domestic devotion in saints’ lives; didactic tracts and their instructions regarding the practice of faith in the home; the adoption of liturgical elements into domestic religious practice, etc.

Deadline: 1 May 2019

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