EXC 2060 A3-8 - Material Mediators: Medieval Material Culture at the Crossroads of Sacred and Secular Connotations
DFG - Cluster of Excellence
Only at first sight the Cluster of Excellence with the title terms 'religion' and 'politics' addresses two abstracts that seem unavailable, even inconceivable, to the individual actor. On the level of historical praxis, the social spaces of the religious as well as the sphere of the political stay always bound to concreta - whether written texts, performative acts or material objects. It is these that make cultural concepts and norms sensually tangible, graspable and manipulable for the actors. Sacred artefacts in particular were suited to work as objectification and at the same time as temporal actualization of the divine. In their material presence, they were not only mediators between heavenly and earthly powers, they also served their contemporaries as references for meaningful-structured action. The project is therefore dedicated to the interplay of medieval material culture, political order and religious practice with a focus on Latin-Christian Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. It focuses on the specific capacity of material artefacts to constitute, stabilize, actualize and restructure symbolic systems and social relationships.