Journées d’étude : « Sacred Drama. Art, Devotion and Performance », en ligne et sur place, St Andrews, University of St Andrews, 11-12 mai 2023

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together scholars from nine countries, from fields including history, art history, architectural history, theatre history, music, theology/religious studies, and literature, with two main objectives:

The first is to consider an inclusive definition of ‘sacred drama’ that refers not only to religious theatre, as traditionally understood, but includes rituals and various forms of devotional practice, as well as engagement with sacred images, objects and spaces. What are the elements of this drama, and how does it function on various levels, including affective, cognitive, corporeal, and phenomenological?

Secondly, what happens to religious theatre as we enter the early modern period? We will seek to address the question of the medieval inheritance versus change or transformation, as well as differences between regions, in a period of cultural change, religious reform and confessionalization. What are the particular challenges presented by the religious debates and upheaval in Europe beginning in the early sixteenth century? Does the suppression of mystery plays across Europe in this period bring about an end to religious theatre, as traditionally understood? How do local practices compare with official policy?

Organised by Andrew Horn and Eelco Nagelsmit

Thursday 11 May

Welcome and opening remarks

Session: Theatricality and Representation
Chair: Andrew Horn (University of St Andrews)

Ralph Dekoninck, Université catholique de Louvain, ‘Sacer horror. The pathos of martyrdom on the Jesuit theatrical and pictorial stage at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’
Kamil Kopania, Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art, Warsaw, ‘What does religious puppetry mean in the early modern period?’
Laura Stefanescu, University of Sheffield, ‘Golden wings and peacock feathers: fifteenth–century Florentine angels in theatre and art’

Session: Dramatic Transformations
Chair: Carol Richardson (University of Edinburgh)

Steffen Zierholz, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, ‘Performing prayer. A Jesuit aesthetics of liminality’
Michael Carlson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, ‘Travestimento spirituale in the circle of Cardinal Federico Borromeo: re–reading Guarini’s Il pastor fido as sacred drama’
Laura Moretti, University of St Andrews , ‘Uses of space and temporary installations in the church of San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti in Venice during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’

Friday 12th May

Session: Performative Bodies
Chair: Eelco Nagelsmit (Leiden University)

Andrew Horn, University of St Andrews, ‘“Outsiders” on the stage of the Passion: queer readings and the socially marginal in Lombard sculptural ensembles, c. 1480–1700’
Grace Harpster, Georgia State University, ‘Pious footprints: performative travel beyond Borromean Milan’
Ruth Sargent Noyes, National Museum of Denmark, ‘The sacred drama of corpisanti catacomb relic–sculptures in the long Counter–Reformation’

Session: Politics and Piety
Chair: Emily Michelson (University of St Andrews)

Andrew Spicer, Oxford Brookes University, ‘Revolt, renewal and Marian devotion in the Southern Netherlands, c. 1566–1621’
Bram van Leuveren, Leiden University, ‘Negotiating religious difference: Jewish and Muslim participants in civic pageants of the early seventeenth–century Dutch Republic’

Concluding remarks

Made possible with support from the University of St Andrews School of Art History, the Leverhulme Trust and the Association for Art History

Please register to attend online or in person:

Citer ce billet
Florence Larcher (2023, 28 avril). Journées d’étude : « Sacred Drama. Art, Devotion and Performance », en ligne et sur place, St Andrews, University of St Andrews, 11-12 mai 2023. Collectif d'Historiens de l'Art de la Renaissance. Consulté le 20 juin 2024, à l’adresse

Florence Larcher

Florence Larcher est doctorante à l'Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Ses recherches sur les images de saint Roch en Italie de 1350 à 1680 l'amènent à étudier la peinture murale, la sérialité et l'itinérance des peintres.

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