Rituals of Investiture

Lecture Series on Stagings from Otto the Great to Barack Obama

Audience at the lecture series of the cluster of excellence.

Rituals of investiture will be in the focus of the next lecture series of the cluster of excellence “Religion and Politics”. In fourteen lectures, the academics will illuminate how people from the Middle Ages until today were inaugurated and what stagings these inaugurations complied with. The series is entitled “Rituals of Investiture. Cultures of the Political-Religious Staging from Otto the Great to Barack Obama”.

The spectrum of the lectures ranges from medieval emperors and prince-bishops of the early modern period to contemporary popes and presidents. Indian royal rituals, Muslim festivals in Pakistan and political rituals of investiture in Mexico will also be highlighted. By comparing the inaugurations of different eras, cultures and religions, the academics wish to demonstrate that the stagings were similar in form and purpose through the ages.

The lecture series will start on 20 October 2009 with an introduction by Prof. Dr. Gerd Althoff, speaker of the cluster and medievalist, and with a lecture of Constance sociologist Bernhard Giesen on “Ritual and the Theatre: Outlines of a Sociological Theory of Performance”. The series will end on 2 February 2010  with a contribution of the New York director and professor Richard Schechner. He will speak about “The Ramlila of Ramnagar, North India: A Ritual Political Entertaining Performance of Great Magnitude”. The series emerged from the cluster of excellence’s research focus “staging”. The organisers are historian Prof. Dr. Gerd Althoff and ethnologist Prof. Dr. Helene Basu. (vvm)


20.10.2009 Bernhard Giesen (Konstanz) Ritual and the Theatre: Outlines of a Sociological Theory of Performance
27.10.2009 Thomas Bauer (Münster) Coins and Poems: Caliphal Representation in the 10th Century
03.11.2009 Gerd Althoff (Münster) The Staging of Sovereign Notions of Office in the Middle Ages: Occasions, Guiding Themes, Change
10.11.2009 Heike Bungert (Münster) Inaugurations of US American Presidents
17.11.2009 Marco Schöller (Münster) Doing What You Have to Do: The Staging of Resistance against Secular Power in Islam
24.11.2009 Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger (Münster) The Sign of the Antichrist. Investiture Rituals of the Prince-Bishops in the Age of the Religious Divide
01.12.2009 Christel Meier-Staubach (Münster) Prophetical Inauguration and Church Office. On the Function of Informal Authorisations in the Medieval Church
08.12.2009 Silke Hensel (Münster) Investiture Rituals to Establish a New Political Order. Mexico in the Transition From the Ancien Régime to Independence
15.12.2009 Hubert Wolf (Münster) Habemus Papam. The Election and Investiture of the Popes in the History of the Church
05.01.2010 Hans-Ulrich Thamer (Münster) Legitimation by Staging. Levels of National Socialist Power Enforcement and Self-Expression
12.01.2010 York Kautt (Gießen) Inauguration of the Media Society – the Case of Barack Obama
19.01.2010 Angelika Malinar (Zürich) The “Moving Icon ” – On the Staging of Leadership in Indian Royal Rituals
26.01.2010 Helene Basu (Münster) Ritualistic Renewals of Office: Muslim Festivals in India and Pakistan
02.02.2010 Richard Schechner (New York) The Ramlila of Ramnagar, North India: A Ritual Political Entertaining Performance of Great Magnitude

Winter semester 2009-2010
Tuesday 6-8 p.m.
Lecture theatre F2, Fürstenberghaus
Domplatz 20-22
48143 Münster

Picture Gallery of the Lecture Series