|CfP: Intl Conf. of the European Forum on the History of Religious Institutes in the 19th and 20th Ce|
Call for Papers
Liturgy as Muse
Religious institutes as protagonists in renewing liturgy, sacred art and music and Church material culture (1903-1962)
International conference of the European Forum on the History of
Religious Institutes in the 19th and 20th Centuries (RELINS-Europe)
Leuven, Belgium, 8-9 November 2012
At the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), ideas about lay participation
in the Church and the ‘popularization’ of the service were definitively
elevated to norms. The origins and implementation of this aspect of the
Council’s decision have already been studied extensively by historians.
By contrast, the tendencies towards reforming the service and Church
material culture already apparent in the first half of the 20th century
have received little attention. In these first few decades, debates were
already taking place in church circles about reforming church music,
church buildings, the stained-glass windows, church interiors and
liturgical ornaments. Driving this call for change was the Liturgical
Movement. Born in monastic circles in the second half of the 19th
century as a reawakening to the liturgy, it came to full bloom in the
20th century. The Liturgical Movement strove for restoration of the
liturgy and greater participation by the congregation in the service.
In the early 20th century Pius X gave papal legitimacy to the growing
concern for the liturgy, sacred art and church material culture. In his
motu propio Tra le Sollecitudini, he referred to the importance of "the
decorum of the House of God in which the august mysteries of religion
are celebrated, and where the Christian people assemble to receive the
grace of the Sacraments, to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar,
to adore the most august Sacrament of the Lord's Body
and to unite in the common prayer of the Church in the public and solemn
liturgical offices". Later in his pontificate (1903-1914) as well, he
continued to promote liturgy and the sacred and solemn character of
divine worship as pillars of Catholic religious life. At the same time,
he also continued the Church’s turnabout, begun by his predecessor,
towards the people. These two policy lines constituted an important
element of his battle against modernity. He considered the
ensemble of church architecture, sacred art and liturgy as a sacred
'gesamtkunstwerk' and a buffer against the rational and ascetic ideas of
the Enlightenment and dissident schools of thought within the Church.
Although some significant impetus to developments in liturgy, sacred art
and material culture may have come from Rome, the religious institutes
were at the very beginning of these innovative currents. The Liturgical
Movement was strongly anchored in the monastic milieu. It was the
Benedictines who took the lead in the debate about liturgical renewal
and lay participation in many countries including France (Solesmes),
Germany (Beuron, Maria-Laach), Spain (Montserrat,
Silos), the Netherlands (Oosterhout) and Belgium. Belgium became an
important centre of the Liturgical Movement in the 20th century, centred
in the Benedictine abbeys of Maredsous, Keizersberg and Zevenkerken,
and for many years personified by the figures of Dom Lambert Beauduin
(1873-1960) and Dom Gaspar Lefebvre (1880-1966).
Possibly as a direct consequence of their participation in the
Liturgical Movement, religious institutes also profiled themselves in
changing church art and material culture. In many of the countries
mentioned above, the Benedictines translated their urge to renew the
liturgy into outspoken ideas about church architecture, sacred art and
music. Monks from the abbeys of Maria-Laach, Zevenkerken, Maredsous and
elsewhere promoted a church architecture and spatial organization that
did full justice to the reinstated liturgy and the turn to the
congregation, through their own artist studios, teaching posts and
magazines. Other religious were also active in this area. The
progressive French Dominicans and their journal l’Art Sacré may be the
best known of them, but other monastics (including Franciscans,
Capuchins, Norbertines, Jesuits and Carmelites) were also involved as
artists, promoters or opinion makers in the innovations in religious art
in the decades preceding Vatican II.
The intended focus of the 2012 RELINS conference is the role – to which
still too little attention has been paid – played by religious and
religious institutes in the reform and renewal of religious art and the
material culture of church architecture and of worship between 1903 and
1962, along three main themes.
1. Religious Institutes and national/internatio nal networks
The first aim is to get a better view of the religious institutes in
Europe that were important in this area. Was there only interest from
the ‘traditional’ orders or did the new institutes founded in the 19th
century contribute as well? In which national and/or international
networks were the religious institutes involved? Was the interest in
renewing liturgy and church art grounded in certain religious traditions
and/or outspoken (anti-modern) ideas?
2. Motives, ideas and significance of the religious protagonists
Secondly, the conference wishes to devote some attention to the
individual religious protagonists, their ideas and how these ideas and
concepts evolved throughout the years. Was the renewal of liturgy,
sacred art and material culture purely a matter for men, or could female
religious also profile themselves in this area? In what forms of art or
craftsmanship or other aspects of material church culture did monastics
have a defining impact? What were the motivations and the underlying
ideas of those involved, and how did their ideas evolve during the
period in question? How intense and decisive was the cross-fertilization
with Catholic theology? Did the prevailing anti-modern discourse allow
any room for interaction with the modern world and the contemporary art?
3. Conflicts and public perception
How important was the impact of the Vatican policymakers? Ultimately,
some protagonists from the Liturgical Movement and the renewal of
religious art and material culture clashed with the authorities in Rome.
How were the ‘reformers’ perceived within their own religious
institutes, by church authorities and lastly, by the outside world?
All these questions and themes will be discussed at the 2012 RELINS
Europe conference. RELINS-Europe (www.relins. eu) is an international
forumthat aims to foster international, comparative research on
religious institutes in (Western) Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Previous conferences were organized in 2001 (Rome – Historiography of
Religious Institutes), 2002 (Vallendar – Legal Position of Religious
Institutes), 2004 (Rome – Religious Institutes and the Roman Factor),
2005 (Fribourg – Religious Institutes and Catholic Culture), 2006 (Rome –
Missiology, Science and Modernity), 2008 (Leuven – Patrimony, Business
and Management of Religious Institutes) and 2009 (Ravenstein – Educating
a Catholic Elite).
The conference is scheduled to take place in Leuven (Belgium) on 8 and 9
November 2012 and will be hosted by KADOC-KULeuven (www.kadoc.be) .
Proposals for papers (max. 500 words, including a title), together with a
curriculum vitae and a list of publications, should be addressed to
Kristien Suenens(kristien.suenens@ kadoc.kuleuven. be) before March 1st
2012. Replies will follow no later than May 1st 2012.