LECTIO XII conferentie: ‘Innovationes Lovanienses’

Op 6 t.e.m. 8 december 2023 organiseert LECTIO haar jaarlijkse conferentie, met als titel ‘Innovationes Lovanienses’. Deze keer focust de conferentie op de stichting en de eerste eeuwen van de Leuvense universiteit als een uniek kruispunt voor de overdracht van teksten, ideeën en beelden tussen de oudheid, de middeleeuwen en de renaissance. Ingepland op de vooravond van de 598ste verjaardag van de stichtingsoorkonde van de universiteit, fungeert de conferentie als een opstap naar de viering van het 600-jarig bestaan van de universiteit in het jaar 2025.

Meer informatie en de call for papers vind je hier.

Hoewel de deadline in principe 15 maart is, is er nog mogelijkheid om een voorstel in te dienen tot en met 20 maart.

Workshop: Good Governance in the Late Medieval City (1200-1600)

Op 1 februari 2023 organiseren Nele De Raedt (UCLouvain) en David Napolitano (Universiteit Utrecht) te Utrecht (Drift 23, lokaal 0.10) een internationale workshop ‘Good Governance in the Late Medieval City (1200-1600)’. Het programma ziet er als volgt uit:

09:45-10:00 Registration

10:00-10:15 Welcome


10:15-10:35 Minne De Boodt (KU Leuven)
Debating good governance. The added value of a cross-contextual analysis for the study of late medieval political thinking
10:35-10:55 Frederik Buylaert (Ghent University), Kaat Capelle (Ghent University), Klaas Van Gelder (Universiteit Brussel/State Archives in Brussels)
Comparing “good governance” in town and countryside: the evidence from Flanders, c. 1250-1550
10:55-11:15 David Napolitano (Utrecht University)
From mirrors-for-princes, over the podestà literature, to mirrors-for-magistrates: Preliminary explorations of three modern labels for medieval advice literature on rulership
11:15-12:15 Discussion



13:30-13:50 Nele De Raedt (UCLouvain)
Mirrors for magistrates on building the city
13:50-14:10 Mats Dijkdrent (UCLouvain)
Architectural descriptions as mirrors for good governance in sixteenth-century Antwerp
14:10-15:10 Discussion



15:30-15:50 Giacomo Santoro (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Magistratus virum ostendit: a perspective on good governance in the Republic of Siena, between pedagogy and government (1428-1456)
15:50-16:10 Vasileios Syros (Jawaharlal Nehru University & The Medici Archive Project)
Good governance and the city in early modern Italy and India
16:10-17:00 Discussion

Deze interdisciplinaire workshop is mogelijk gemaakt dankzij de financiële ondersteuning van de Dutch Research School of Medieval Studies, Louvain Research Institute for Landscape, Architecture and the Built Environment (LAB, UCLouvain), Utrecht University Centre for Medieval Studies (UUCMS) en Research Alliance CITY (Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

Workshop: The Lexicon of Diseases in the Middle Ages: Languages, Translations, Authors 

Graag brengen wij de workshop ‘The Lexicon of Diseases in the Middle Ages: Languages, Translations, Authors‘ onder jullie aandacht, die op 25 november a.s. in Leuven plaatsheeft:

Fully understanding the disease lexicon of the past is quite complex because it warrants an assessment of more interpretative mechanisms than today. To quote Mirko Grmek ‘Diseases don’t exist. The sick individual exists… disease is but a concept, created in a way which is not logically obligatory and exclusive’. This is particularly true of the Middle Ages when vernacular medical lexicon originated, Latin medical language evolved due to the legacy of the Late Antiquity, and the translations of medical texts from Greek to Latin and from Greek to Arabic to Latin coexisted. If naming a disease implies creating a link between res significans (the name of the disease) and res significata(the grouping of signs, symptoms and conceptions connected with a specific disease), this link may differ across historical periods and text genres. Different speakers present at the workshop will address issues related to the constitution of the disease lexicon in the Middle Ages, its originality and the conceivable polysemy of disease names. There will also be a discussion (round table) of how translations and subsequent transcriptions of disease names from one text to another as well as from one language to another have influenced the constitution of the disease lexicon.

Klik hier voor het programma en de inschrijving. Er zal eveneens de mogelijkheid zijn om de workshop via videostreaming te volgen.

Conferentie KU Leuven: “The Dynamics of Devotions: About signposts, Thresholds and Stumbling Blocks in the History of Christian Religious Life”

Op 27 en 28 Oktober organiseert de faculteit voor Theologie en Religieuze Studies de conferentie “The Dynamics of devotions”. Meer informatie zoals het programma en praktische informatie kan u vinden op de website: https://theo.kuleuven.be/en/research/research_units/ru_pastoral/the-dynamics-of-devotions/

This Conference will be held on the occasion of the establishment of the Chair of Popular Religiosity at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the KU Leuven.

According to John of the Cross, statues of saints should draw the attention of the faithful to the imaged saints and through them to the invisible God. He believes the fact that so many saints are venerated and that there are so many statues of saints, has to do with the fact that every person is different and that some are more sensitive than others to a particular devotion. He also points out the existence of numerous pilgrimage sites and other holy places. The place where, according to him, one can best go to pray is simply a place to which one is particularly attracted an at the same time a place where one is not distracted from the way to God (Ascent of Mount Carmel, III). He refers to the Samaritan woman who questioned Jesus about the best place of worship. Jesus’ answer was that true prayer does not depend on the mountain or the temple, but that those who please the Father with their prayers are those who worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:20-24).

The two types of John of the Cross are characteristic of the Christian faith tradition. They have something basic, and at the same time they contain a warning. They are basic, because religion is hard to imagine without observable, material things. Humans are physical, sensory beings, and in the expression of religion, objects, places and images provide a certain hold. It can hardly be otherwise. The warning is that one must realize that one is merely on the way, that one must not cling to the visible because the invisible God is the goal. There is a danger of becoming entangled in ‘ritualism’ in worship and of becoming too attached to devotions in private piety. This conference is about devotions, both their concrete and their risky side.

Many devotions have arisen in the long history of Christianity. As a product of their time, they often gained great popularity only to decline or disappear afterwards. Because of their risky side, concrete devotions are often the subject of fierce criticism. For example, the Church Father Augustine opposes the veneration of saints:

“You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only. Do you want to be sure to honor holy angels and martyrs? Glory then to Him, in whom they only want to receive glory. For if they are holy, they will be angry with you if you should honor them individually instead of Him alone from whom they have received the grace of their bliss. Precisely because they are holy, you must not offend them even more by wishing to venerate them, as it were, set apart. For by honoring God, you honor everyone who remains united to God in pious love and holy devotion” (sermo 198:46).

A thousand years later, Thomas a Kempis, in his Imitation of Christ, sneers at the pilgrimage practice of his days: “those who go on pilgrimage rarely become saints” (1: 78). With this sharp criticism Augustine and Thomas did not object to the existence of devotions as such. For example, Augustine is proud of the miracles that are said to have happened in places where a relic of St Stephen is present (De civitate Dei, 22, 8), and Thomas is proud of the statues of Mary in the church of Agnietenberg Priory and the indulgences that can be earned in this church (Chronicle of Agnietenberg).

Devotions have also given rise to the separation of minds within Western Christendom. For example, the worship of the host was rejected by reformers as the worship of a ‘bread god’. Catholics, in turn, made the Sacramental Procession a grand triumphalist event to shame the heretics.

The conference will be held at the University of Leuven, hosted by the Faculty of Theology. Some of the keynote speakers are  Wendy Wauters, Anne Harrison, Rob Faesen, Paul van Geest, and Nicolas Balzamo. The organization consists of Prof Dr Hans Geybels and Dr Charles Caspers. 

Conferentie: ‘Of Foxes and Fish: Interdisciplinary approaches to Medieval Animal Lore and its afterlife’

Van 14 tot en met 17 september 2022 organiseert het ‘Instituut voor de studie van de Letterkunde in de Nederlanden (ISLN)’ aan de universiteit Antwerpen een colloquium rond de rol van dieren in Europese literatuur tijdens de Middeleeuwen. Neem gerust een kijkje naar de website voor meer informatie: https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/conferences/foxes/

44ste samenkomst van het Réseau des Médiévistes belges de Langue française – 11 en 12 januari 2022

Op 11 en 12 januari vindt aan de ULB de 44ste bijeenkomst van het Réseau des Médiévistes belges plaats. Het thema voor deze editie is: patrimoine et Archéologie en péril ! De défi-sites en défi-sciences.

Bijkomende informatie over de sprekers, de agenda en de locatie is op de website van het RMBLF terug te vinden: Rencontre du RMBLF — Patrimoine et Archéologie en péril ! De défi-sites en défi-sciences | RMBLF.be

Lancering netwerk “Observatory of Written Heritage | Low Countries” – 23 en 24 november 2021

Voor de lancering van het door BelSPo gesubsidieerde netwerk “Observatory of Written Heritage | Low Countries”, zal op 23 en 24 november 2021 in Brussel een bijeenkomst plaatsvinden. Hieronder kan u de uitnodiging zelf met alle verdere details terugvinden.

Observatory of Written Heritage | “Low Countries” (owhlc.hypotheses.org)

Meeting 2021

Brussels, KBR (Royal Library of Belgium), 23rd and 24th November 2021

Organized by

Funded by

Over the course of the Middle Ages and the first Renaissance, what was called the ‘Low Countries’ (BeNeLux, Northern France, Northern-Western Rhine Regions) developed an original written culture. The essential part of what has been preserved of this important heritage has fortunately survived in the libraries and manuscript collections of our regions, sometimes abroad. Over the last few years, important survey and recovery projects have been started. However, not all the heritage collections have been identified or explored, especially in the private and ecclesiastical libraries. Moreover, not all the pre-modern sources useful for the study of this written heritage have yet been identified, surveyed or edited.

To facilitate these scholarly activities, we must call on information technologies and particularly on digital humanities for inventory, research, preservation and enhancement of this heritage. Relevant technologies include managing metadata, digitization, electronic editions, data mining, virtual libraries and virtual digital museology or digitally restoring medieval books. However, all these initiatives have not yet necessarily been surveyed, and they are still not all accessible from a central point of information. Moreover, many manuscripts and the relevant sources that document their history are still poorly known to scholars working in this field.

It therefore seems timely and opportune to make an assessment of the initiatives and to establish a research community around the written heritage of the historical Low Countries and the application of digital humanities to this field. An ‘observatory of written heritage’, comparable to Biblissima  and in close collaboration with this pioneering French portal in the field, would be a good approach to creating a synergy between keepers of the historical collections, expert librarians, academic scholars and teachers and digital humanities researchers.

In order to launch this contact group’s activities, a webinar has already been organized in May 2021. Now that the relaxation of the Covid-19 rules allow for in-person meetings, we are able to organize a meeting on 23rd and 24th November. This will not be a conference, but working groups deliberating on the need of such a network, the expectations for it, and the possible activities it could undertake in the next future.

If you are a librarian, an archivist, a written heritage preservation or digitization specialist, a Digital Humanities specialist, a researcher or a teacher involved in the field of written cultures of the area in question, and if you are a representative of your institution, unit, laboratory, etc., you are friendly invited to participate in the working days (there may be several participants for each institution, depending on their skills).

!!! Due to Covid health measures in Brussels-Capital Region, access might be made conditional on presentation of a ‘Covid Safe Ticket’ !!!


(please CTRL + click to open)


Tuesday, November 23rd

10:00     Welcome Coffee

10:30     Opening Speeches

Lunch Time

13:00     Working Groups (Metadata and Cataloguing, Preservation and Heritage Management, Digitization, Research, Education and Training in Written Heritage and Digital Humanities, Virtual Museology and Enhancement of Written Heritage, etc.).

15:00     Visit of KBR Museum

Wednesday, November 24th

09:30     Presentation of the Working Groups Summaries (1)

10:30     Coffee Break

11:00     Presentation of the Working Groups Summaries (2)

Lunch Time

13:30     General Discussion

15:00     Closing Drink