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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for Historical Studies (CHS)

Sustainable Societies: Past and Present

‘Sustainable societies: past and present’ studies forms and practices, arrangements, cultures and institutions which explain and contribute to the social coherence and sustainability of societies from antiquity to the present. It is unique in its endeavour to lay bare the historical and cultural roots of the present-day relationship between politics, state and society. It addresses explicitly the role of literary, artistic and religious culture in these processes alongside that of the more familiar political institutions.

Members: 22, PhD Students: 12


Prof. dr. Sabrina Corbellini (together with Prof. dr. Bart Ramakers) : COST Action: New Communities of Interpretation: Contexts, Strategies and Processes of Religious Transformation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, 1 July 2013-15 May 2017 (funded from COST with €100.000 p.a., overall expenses including matching funds from participants: €52mio)

This Action aims to coordinate research activities currently developed at 20 European universities and research institutes in 13 European countries and creates a (virtual) centre of expertise for the study of religious culture in late medieval and early modern Europe, a period traditionally depicted as one of great cultural discontinuity and binary oppositions between learned (Latin) and unlearned (vernacular) and ecclesiastical hierarchy and the lay believers. Challenging stereotypical descriptions of exclusion of lay and non-Latinate people from religious and cultural life the project will concentrate on the reconstruction of the process of emancipation of the laity and the creation of new "communities of interpretations". The project will therefore analyze patterns of social inclusion and exclusion and examine shifts in hierarchic relations amongst groups, individuals and their languages, casting new yet profoundly historical light on themes of seminal relevance to present-days societies.

Fundamental, interdisciplinary and international research which is linked to the university’s research strand Sustainable Society

Key publication

Ramakers, B.A.M. et al. (eds.), Trading Values in Early Modern Antwerp, NKJ 64, Leiden: Brill 2014, 399p.

Last modified:06 May 2019 10.38 a.m.