Pilgrimage in the Global Middles Ages: Hospitality and Encounter

Pilgrimage in the Global Middles Ages: Hospitality and Encounter

Join the Medieval Institute and the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion for the first in our series on pilgrimage. Why did medieval people go on pilgrimage, how did they travel, and what resources did they need while on the road? Pilgrimage in the Global Middle Ages: Hospitality and Encounter will examine medieval social institutions that supported pilgrims in the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Chinese Buddhist traditions. Panelists will include Notre Dame Professors Robin Jensen (Theology), Mun'im Sirry (Theology) and Alexander Hsu (Keough School). They will compare different cultural provisions for hospitality, pilgrims’ experience of encounter along the way, and the sacred art of shrines and holy places. This session will be the first in a series of spring-semester events exploring the practice of pilgrimage, both historically across faith traditions and in present-day work for social justice.

Meet the Moderator: Annie Killian, OP

Annie Killian, OP, Ph.D. is a Dominican Sister of Peace and the Public Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Killian holds a Ph.D. from Yale University, as well as a BA in English from Yale and an MPhil in Medieval Studies from the University of Oxford. She works closely with the Institute’s staff, especially its director of undergraduate studies and engagement, in the Institute’s outreach and engagement efforts directed at local schools as well as friends, alumni, and undergraduate majors and minors.

Meet the Faculty: Alexander Hsu

Alexander Hsu serves as assistant teaching professor for the Ansari Institute and the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. He is also the Ansari Institute’s academic advisor and program manager. His research focuses on early Buddhist scriptures in medieval China and employs perspectives from manuscript studies, genre theory, and cultural history in order to examine how the use of texts reflects transformations in religious reading practices. Hsu’s current book project examines why and how medieval Chinese Buddhists used anthologies to “economize” their gigantic scriptural canon.

Meet the Faculty: Robin Jensen

Robin Jensen is the Patrick O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Robin’s research and publication focuses on the relationship between early Christian art and literature and examines the ways that visual images and architectural spaces should be regarded as modes of theological expression. Her published essays and books contend that, in addition to interpreting sacred texts, visual images enhance liturgical settings, reflect the nature and content of devotional piety, and explicate ritual practices. She teaches courses on the character of late antique Christian and Jewish art, the history and evolution of Christian architecture, the iconography of the cross and crucifix, depictions of Christ and the Virgin Mary, and the place and controversies over images and idols in ancient and early medieval Christianity. Additionally, she has researched the practices, distinctive character, and material evidence of Christianity in ancient Roman North Africa. Her current project, tentatively titled “From Idols to Icons” (under contract with the University of California Press) examines the emergence of a Christian material piety in the fourth and fifth centuries. This work discusses the perceived danger of visual representations of divine beings, early controversies over the miraculous power of saints’ shrines and relics, the sacralization of structures and geographical places, and the belief that images may facilitate the presence of holy persons in their absence.

Meet the Faculty: Mu'nim Sirry

Mun’im Sirry is assistant professor of theology with additional responsibilities for the Contending Modernities research project. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School (2012). He did his undergrad and graduate studies at the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan, and Master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His academic interest includes Qur’anic studies, interreligious relations, political theology, modern Islamic thought, and Southeast Asian religions and cultures. Along with Professor Gabriel Said Reynolds, he is the editor of journal Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. Sirry is the author of Scriptural Polemics: The Qur’an and Other Religions (Oxford, 2014). He is now finishing up his monograph dealing with both traditional and critical scholarship on Islamic origins. He is also coordinating the Contending Modernities working group on Indonesia exploring and analyzing the complex relationships between various contending forces that have shaped, and been shaped by, religious life at both the societal and state levels. Sirry’s publications have appeared in journals such as Arabica, al-Bayan, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Interpretation, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Journal of Semitic Studies, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, The Muslim World, Studia Islamica, Die Welt des Islams.

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Presented by Medieval Institute

Friday, January 27, 2023 12:00 pm

Join the Medieval Institute and the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion for the first in a webinar series on pilgrimage. Why did medieval people go on pilgrimage, how did they travel, and what resources did they need while on the road?

“Pilgrimage in the Global Middle Ages: Hospitality and Encounter” will examine medieval social institutions that supported pilgrims in the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Chinese Buddhist traditions.

Panelists will include Notre Dame professors Robin Jensen (Theology), Mun’im Sirry (Theology) and Alexander Hsu (Keough School). They will compare different cultural provisions for hospitality, pilgrims’ experience of encounter along the way, and the sacred art of shrines and holy places.

This webinar will be the first in a series of spring-semester events exploring the practice of pilgrimage, both historically across faith traditions and in present-day work for social justice.

For more information visit the event website.

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