Medieval Studies conference to focus on role of bishops in medieval EuropeBy Arthur Fournier
The University of Chicago Medieval Studies Workshop will host an international conference devoted to bishops, an elite who played a varied and far-reaching role in Europes religious, social and political life.
Historians agree on the pivotal contribution bishops made in early medieval Europe. At Chicago, scholars from numerous disciplines and with varied regional interests will come together to discuss their research and exchange ideas on episcopal ideals and realities in 10th- and 11th-century Europe.
The conference, Genus Regale et Sacerdotale: The Image of the Bishop Around the Millennium, will address the conception of the bishop in the years between 900 and 1050, a period of dramatic change. The forum also will provide an unprecedented occasion in North America to examine comprehensively the changing function and significance of the bishop during this period. The sources and methods represented at the conference will reflect the whole of contemporary discourse on bishops and their own self-expression in politics, historiography, law, theology, sacred and secular ritual, the arts, architecture and literature.
Scholars of all levels and from both sides of the Atlantic will come together for three days of presentations. Each day of the conference will begin at 9 a.m. with a keynote lecture by an eminent senior academic.
The community of medievalists here at the University is delighted to be hosting such a renowned group of scholars, said Sean Gilsdorf, conference organizer. The remarkable response to the conference, like the dynamism of our Medieval Studies Workshop and the recent hiring of medievalists in many departments, speaks volumes about the strength and interdisciplinary vitality of Medieval Studies at Chicago, he added.
Michael Allen, Assistant Professor in Classical Languages & Literatures, will introduce Angenendt at the conference. Allen, a medieval paleographer and Latinist who came to the University in 1996, said Angenendts visit to Chicago is evidence of how successful the Medieval Studies Workshop has been in advancing Medieval Studies at the University. Eminent scholars in the field are coming to recognize the workshops commitment to producing dialogue between the associated disciplines that comprise medieval studies, he said. The Medieval Studies Workshop really exemplifies and institutionalizes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the Middle Ages.
Genus Regale et Sacerdotale: The Image of the Bishop around the Millennium has been made possible by support from the Divinity School, the Humanities Division and The Franke Institute for the Humanities.
Conference events will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, Friday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Oct. 30, in Swift Hall, 1025 E. 58th St. Conference sessions are free and open to the public.
For more information, call (773) 702- 4562 or visit the Medieval Studies Workshop Web page at http://humanities.uchicago.edu/medieval/bishops/.