The Warwick Symposium on Parish Research, supported by the Humanities Research Centre, has been running on an annual basis since 2003. While previous sessions have focused on specific parish records and their contents, this year’s meeting takes a broader view, focusing on ‘reflections’ of the parish more generally – its nature, its characteristics, its meaning.
The 2016 symposium on Saturday 7 May, co-organized by Beat Kümin (Warwick) and Ellen K. Rentz (Claremont McKenna College), will engage with a wide variety of genres and texts including, but not limited to: memoranda, synodal / diocesan statues, visitation records; sermons, exempla, and catechetical handbooks; hymns and liturgical texts; poetry, drama, travel narratives; visual sources such as wall paintings, stained glass, manuscript illuminations, etc. These will be used to address research questions like: How did contemporaries understand and envisage the purposes, workings, and problems of parish communities, in different contexts and at different points in time? What constituted the “ideal” parish, and who – clergy, patrons, parishioners – was in charge? Were there alternative models of pastoral care? Alternatives to the parish more generally? How did different genres conceptualize the parish, and to what end? And what about the parish of posterity: how would future generations envision its nature and function?
The call for papers has closed, although the co-organizers may still be able to accommodate brief ‘parish project’ presentations (of max. 5 minutes), even on topics unrelated to this year’s theme. Confirmed speakers include:
Keynote:• ‘In the Nave with Chaucer’ – Ellen K. Rentz, Claremont McKenna College
Research papers:• ‘Out of a Christian dewtie’: Child care and parish networks in seventeenth-century Scotland – Chris Langley, Newman University, Birmingham• “noþing ells but kepe riȝt mesure”: Cultivating Moderation in Eating and Drinking for the Community in the Book of Vices and Virtues – Sunyoung Lee, Arizona State University• ‘Parish registers and religious communities in south Germany’ – Eva Marie Lehner, Universität Duisburg-Essen• ‘The Manor and the Parish: Local Organisation in the Sixteenth Century Through the Example of the Blount Family’– Elizabeth Norton, King’s College, London• ‘Perceptions and Expectations of the Elizabethan Clergy Wife: Evidence from within the Parish’ – Anne Thompson, University of Warwick• ‘The Gotlandic Parish. Concepts of identity and social differentiation’ – Jörg Widmaier, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen
We warmly welcome participants interested in any aspect of parish history and parish culture. Advance booking is required – the fee of £15 for research students / £25 for all other delegates includes lunch and refreshments. Please register online at http://my-parish.org/events/parish-symposium-2016-reflecting-the-parish by Friday 22 April 2016. Any updates and further information will be published on the same webpage.