Kalamazoo ICMS 2020: Violating Sacred Space
Sacred space is, in part, defined by its possible violation, examples of which abound in the Middle Ages. The martyrdom of Saint Nicaise, killed in his church by Vandals, is preserved in narrative and art. In Bokenham’s “Life of Saint Margaret,” the saint complains that her relics have been abandoned in churches destroyed by conflict and neglect. Legal sources also betray anxiety about the instability of sacred space: several sources note that damaging church property was an excommunicable sin, while Gratian’s decretals dictate the reconsecration of churches desecrated by bodily fluids.
In this paper panel, we invite papers that explore violations of sacred space from multiple perspectives and disciplines. Potential topics include the defacement of sacred art, the destruction and rebuilding of churches, literary narratives of violation, archaeological evidence thereof, secular and ecclesiastical legal records, and theoretical explorations of the nature of space and ritual.
Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and the participant information form to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 10th. Thank you!