Symbols that Bind and Break Communities: Saints’ Cults as Stimuli and Expressions of Local, Regional, National and Universalist Identities

April, 2010 to March, 2014
Hungarian Scientific Research Fund

The project asserts that a key to understanding the development of regional identities lies in the tension between specifically formulated regional traditions and trans-regional impulses as also influenced by general concerns of different levels of authority. On the whole, the project applies a reception historical point of view since the relevant cultural changes, revisions or transformations can primarily be studied as local appropriations of materials or structures transmitted over centuries. In the project, questions concerning regional identity are approached through the prism of saints’ cults, which affected all aspects of medieval and early modern life. The collaborative project will be the first to investigate the significance of saints in the interactive context of regional and trans-regional identities. The project consists of five self-contained, interrelated subprojects focusing on different European regions and overlapping but different periods altogether spanning the Middle Ages, the Early Modern and Modern periods.