'Thou prays't not well': Prayer in performance and society in the Renaissance, RSA Conference, Venice, 8-10 April 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Joseph Sterrett, Cardiff University
contact email: 

This panel seeks to explore aspects of prayer in European culture in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. How was prayer represented in literature, plays or works of art? How did communities utilize prayer as a distinguishing feature for their religious identity, and how were these forms of prayer policed? More importantly, in what ways does the representation or prayer in literature and drama intersect with its importance as a means of defining religious loyalties and identities? Papers are invited from those who work on prayer during this period to share their research, whether it be an examination of the architecture created to facilitate prayer, or the texts created to preserve, stimulate, guide or police prayer (poetry, hymns, sermons, or polemic). Prayers in Shakespeare, Marlowe and Middleton, for example, each register quite different responses to the controversies and debates about what constituted true or effective prayer.

Please submit proposals of 150 words by April 25. Queries welcome.