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"The Cult of Saints: a christendom-wide study of its origins, spread and development"

Objective

"An investigation of the origins and development of a central feature of late-antique, medieval and modern culture: the belief that dead saints can act as mediators between a distant God and humankind, and that they are active on earth in many different ways (such as healing the sick, punishing the irreverent, or even controlling the weather).

The project will investigate the emergence of this belief by systematically collecting all the available evidence - across several academic disciplines and six linguistic cultures (Latin, Greek, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian and Georgian), from the first stirrings of the phenomenon in the third century until around the year 700, by which time the cult of saints was fully developed and firmly rooted throughout the Christian world, from Ireland to Iran.

The work will be done by a team of researchers (under expert supervision for four of the eastern languages), closely co-ordinated by the PI. The project will operate concurrently at two levels. The individual researchers will produce free-standing regional studies on aspects of the cult of saints that are essential to the wider project, but at present under-researched. While doing this, they will collect the full range of evidence from their regions within a single searchable database. This will provide the basis for a christendom-wide monograph on the emergence of the cult of saints authored by the PI, and also the context essential to give breadth and depth to the regional studies.

For the first time it will be possible to tell the history of the emergence of the cult of saints across the full geographical and cultural range of early Christendom. Of great importance in itself, this will also link, and thereby enhance, the many pre-existing works of scholarship on aspects of the cult of saints.

The ‘Cult of Saints’ will result in a major summative monograph, a comprehensive international conference, a series of ground-breaking regional studies, and a freely-available database."

Field of science

  • /humanities/history and archaeology/history
  • /humanities/languages and literature/languages - general

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-ADG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 286 504
Principal investigator
Bryan Ward-Perkins (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Gill Wells (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (3)

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 2 286 504
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Bryan Ward-Perkins (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Gill Wells (Ms.)
UNIWERSYTET WARSZAWSKI
Poland
EU contribution
€ 157 211
Address
Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28
00 927 Warszawa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Diana Pustula (Ms.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF READING
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 55 525
Address
Whiteknights Campus Whiteknights House
RG6 6AH Reading
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Alison Merrett (Ms.)