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Masterclass: Religious Imagination in the Late Medieval Low Countries

Friday 19 January 2024
Niels Bohrweg 2

This masterclass for MA and PhD students will focus on the religious imagination as a spiritual skill in the late medieval Low Countries, and the role of religious texts, images, and objects in imaginative spiritual practices. How were devotees trained in the proper use of the imagination? How did texts, images, and objects guide their readers’ imagination, for example through their performative character or the shaping of a devotional habitus? And how do these objects reflect the needs of devotees at different stages of their spiritual progress?

Participants will discuss two draft articles for a special issue of OGE. Journal for the History of Spirituality in the Low Countries on the theme with the authors: dr. Renske Hoff (UU) and Lydia Shahan (Harvard. They will be provided with a syllabus containing the two articles and some additional literature on the theme. Prof. dr. Veerle Fraeters (UU) will give a closing lecture.


  • prof. dr. Veerle Fraeters (Utrecht University/University of Antwerp);
  • dr. Renske Hoff (Utrecht University);
  • Lydia Shahan MA (Harvard University);
  • dr. Lieke Smits (University of Antwerp, coordination)

Preliminary programme

09.30-10.30: Opening and discussion of Renske Hoff – Song book Paris Ne39 as a sensational form

10.30-11.00: Break

11.00-12.00: Discussion of Lydia Shahan - Dets van onser vrouwen: The Virgin Mary as Model in Vernacular Mystical Sermons

12.00-13.30: Lunch

13.30-15.00: Lecture: Veerle Fraeters, Religious Imagination: Spiritual Vision in Medieval Theory and Female Visionary Narratives

15.00-16.00: Closing drinks

More information

Deadline registration: 1 December 2023, with Lieke Smits: lieke.smits@uantwerpen.be. Please explain in a few sentences why you would like to participate. We aim to accommodate everyone who is interested, but as the venue has a limited capacity we might have to make a selection.

Participants can write a review of one of the draft articles for 1 ECTS at the National Research School Medieval Studies. Please state whether you want to do this exercise during registration. 

This masterclass is part of the workshop Religious imagination in the late medieval Low Countries (https://www.lorentzcenter.nl/religious-imagination-in-the-late-medieval-low-countries.html), hosted by the Lorentz Center and co-funded by the National Research School Medieval Studies and the Ruusbroec Institute, University of Antwerp.


Lorentz Center @Snellius, 2nd floor Snellius building


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