Devotion, Objects and Emotion, 1300–1700


Devotion, Objects and Emotion, 1300–1700

Religion is a cultural field in which emotions exercise a preeminent role. Feelings are integral to religion, and their significance is encapsulated in the concept of religious devotion.

This symposium will focus on the relationships between religious devotion, objects and emotion in Europe between 1300 and 1700. Religious devotion promotes the exercise of a wide range of emotional expressions and behaviours that assume, communicate and give shape to the broader religious belief systems and cosmologies of which they are part. Objects used in religious practices accrue the power to arouse, channel and mediate our emotions, while their materiality and use in devotional practice can expand our understanding of the historical layering and expression of religious emotions, and how they change over time. In this way, devotional practices and objects provide a rich vantage point from which to explore the multifarious and fundamental role of emotions in individual and collective lives.

The symposium is being convened by Charles Zika, Julie Hotchin, Claire Walker and Lisa Beaven.

Image: Anton Wierix II, Jesus pierces with arrows the whole outer surface of the heart, plate 3 from the Cor Jesu amanti sacrum (The heart dedicated to the loving Jesus) series, late 16th–early 17th century, engraving. ©National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Felton Bequest, 1923 (1278.328-3).


  •  Anna Welch
    Anna Welch, State Library of Victoria
  •  Jacqueline Van Gent
    Jacqueline Van Gent, University of Western Australia
  •  Ulrike Strasser
    Ulrike Strasser, University of California, San Diego
  •  Jenny Spinks
    Jenny Spinks, The University of Melbourne
  •  Patricia Simons
    Patricia Simons, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  •  Johanna Scheel
    Johanna Scheel, Philipps-Universität Marburg
  •  Kathryn Rudy
    Kathryn Rudy, University of St Andrews
  •  Sarah Randles
    Sarah Randles, The University of Melbourne
  •   Una McIlvenna
    Una McIlvenna, The University of Melbourne
  •  Matthew Martin
    Matthew Martin, National Gallery of Victoria
  •  Catherine Kovesi
    Catherine Kovesi, The University of Melbourne
  •  Erin Griffey
    Erin Griffey, The University of Auckland