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Content archived on 2024-06-18

Mobility of Ideas and Transmission of Texts Vernacular Literature and Learning in the Rhineland and the Low Countries (ca. 1300-1550)


Mobility of Ideas and Transmission of Texts is a joint PhD programme (2009-2013) that studies the medieval transmission of learning from the ecclesiastical and academic elites of the professional intellectuals to the wider readership that could be reached through the vernacular. The programme focuses on the medieval dynamics of intellectual life in the Rhineland and the Low Countries, nowadays divided over five countries (Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands) but one cultural region in the later Middle Ages. Here, the great fourteenth-century mystics Meister Eckhart, Johannes Tauler, Jan van Ruusbroec and their contemporaries produced a sophisticated vernacular literature on contemplative theology and religious practice, introducing new lay audiences to a personal relation with the Supreme Being. The project seeks to develop a new perspective on this literary culture by looking at the readership, appropriation and circulation of texts in the contemporary religious and intellectual contexts. The programme unites expertise in the fields of medieval philosophy, religious studies, manuscript studies and Dutch and German literature, to provide structural training for interdisciplinary and international research in one of the medieval aspects of European culture of lasting merit. The training programme is built on a number of current research projects in which all full partners (Antwerp, Freiburg, Lecce, Leiden and Oxford) participate simultaneously, thus offering an adequate international infrastructure for a series of coherent PhD projects on medieval literature and learning that require a broader academic framework than the national literatures and other concepts of the modern tradition of academic disciplines. The programme prepares a new generation of medievalists for international careers in academic research, education and the presentation of the medieval cultural heritage.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
€ 579 051,97
2311 EZ Leiden

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West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Agglomeratie Leiden en Bollenstreek
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Petra Kamer-De Graaf (Ms.)
Total cost
No data

Participants (4)