The ‘Jornades d’Història de l’Església i la religiositat’ are an annual international, multidisciplinary conference on the history of the medieval Church and religiosity, held at the former Premonstratensian monastery of Santa Maria de Bellpuig de les Avellanes (Os de Balaguer).
Since their inauguration in 2010 the ‘Jornades’ have treated different aspects of medieval church history, of monasticism, and of religious faiths. The approach is comparative and interdisciplinary, drawing on the expertise of scholars from across the world working on medieval history, art and architectural history, archaeology, spirituality and theology, and medieval literature and music.
The conference has a different core theme each year, focusing on different aspects of religious history, such as the Premonstratensians in the Middle Ages, female monasticism in medieval Europe, sacred space, the relations between secular and religious communities, the coexistence of Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Middle Ages, orthodoxy and heresy in the Middle Ages, the role of medieval monasteries as centres of culture and knowledge, medieval monastic memory through the ages, and monasteries and their role in the rituals surrounding death and the eternal life.
The ‘Jornades’ are aimed at scholars and students of medieval history and / or religion, as well as at anybody with an interest in the past and the history of the church.
The conference location could hardly be more adequate: the beautiful Monestir de les Avellanes, a former abbey of Premonstratensian canons going back to the twelfth century, provides an appropriate setting for academic debate on issues of medieval religious history. The former abbey, now home to a community of Maristes, whose hospitality is second to none, preserves elements of the medieval buildings, most notably the former conventual church.
Complementing the academic part of the conference are a series of activities that are in each case related to the theme of the conference, and that have included guided thematic visits to the Monastery of les Avellanes, excursions to Balaguer and Os de Balaguer, performances of medieval music, song, and dance in the cloister, and the popular annual Medieval Banquet.
Direction: Flocel Sabaté and Karen Stöber, Grup de Recerca Consolidat en Estudis Medievals ‘Espai, Poder i Cultura’, Universitat de Lleida
Coordination: Robert Porta, Monestir de les Avellanes, Os de Balaguer
The Monastery of Santa Maria de Bellpuig de les Avellanes: http://www.monestirdelesavellanes.com/
For more information, visit the conference website: http://www.monestirdelesavellanes.com/ca/jornades-dhistoria/