The Substance of Sacred Place:
An Interdisciplinary Workshop on Locative Materiality
Organised by Laura Veneskey, Annette Hoffmann and Gerhard Wolf
The study of holy places has long been a central concern of not only the humanities, but also the social sciences. Much of this body of scholarship has focused on pilgrimage and sacred centers, either as theoretical constructions or as concrete places, such as Jerusalem, Mecca or Benares. These subjects have been explored, on the one hand, through the study of ritual and liturgy, and on the other, through various modes of representation, be they architectural, cartographic, iconic, or textual. Complementary to these lines of inquiry, the workshop explores the material and tactile dimensions of locative sacrality across religious traditions. How is a sense of place communicable through physical means? What can a consideration of matter tell us about the often fraught relationship between the tangible world and its representation? The workshop is dedicated to all materials evocative of a particular sacred milieu, not only earth, dust, stone, but also wood, metal, pigments, oil, or water. It discusses either the substances and places themselves or textual and iconic depictions thereof and deals with any locale conceived of as sacred, whether scriptural, pilgrim, monastic, ascetic, or cultic, between antiquity and the early modern period.
Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51