Monthly Archives: February 2019

The 2019 Anselm Lecture by Prof Julia Smith

The Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies and the School of History invite you to this year’s Anselm Lecture, by Professor Julia Smith, Chichele Professor of Medieval History at All Souls College, University of Oxford.

Entitled, The Remains of the Saints; The Evidence of Early Medieval Relic Collections the lecture takes place at 6pm Thursday 21st March, 2019 in Grimond Building, Lecture Theatre 2 (GLT2).

All are welcome to the lecture and a wine reception afterwards.

Abstract of the lecture
This paper explores both the textual and material evidence for the nature of relics in Merovingian and Carolingian Europe.  Using the surviving relic assemblages at Saint Maurice d’Agaune and Sens in particular, it charts a gradual shift from associative to representational objects, and points out the slowly increasing attention to body part relics.

About the speaker
Julia Smith is Chichele Professor of Medieval History at All Souls College, University of Oxford.  Her current research addresses the materiality of Christian experience in the Middle Ages. She is concerned with ‘things which do things’, and use an ethnographic approach to exploring how, why and in what social contexts a wide range of material substances acquired a sacred aura, serving as mediators between humans and the divinity. The result will be a book on the emergence and development of the cult of relics from the 4th to the 11th centuries. This research draws heavily on approaches and methodologies derived from her earlier publications on the history of women and gender in the early Middle Ages (a field in which she retains a strong interest) but also has a strong cross-cultural dimension. Beyond that, Prof Smith is interested in developing interdisciplinary approaches to studying the abundant material remains of late antique and early medieval relic-objects which she has discovered while undertaking field work in the treasuries of some of Europe’s oldest churches.