Gateway to Heaven? The Jerusalem Code in Scandinavia, ca 1000-1948

Jerusalem

Gateway to Heaven? The Jerusalem Code in Scandinavia, ca 1000-1948

Organizers: MF Centre for the Advanced Study of Religion, Oslo in cooperation with The Study of Religion, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo

Throughout the entirety of Christian history, the idea of Jerusalem, earthly and celestial, has been formative to the Christian Church and to European culture. Conceptions of the Holy City, the Promised Land and the Chosen People may be conceived of as a storyworld that shaped the Christian west. Is this storyworld still a living reality, is it forgotten, or is it reconfigured?

Since 2015, the RCN-funded research project Tracing the Jerusalem Code: Christian Cultures in Scandinavia has explored the impact of ideas of Jerusalem and the Holy Land on Scandinavian cultures – from the Christian conversion in the 10th-11th centuries to the rise of the modern social democracies. Tracing the Jerusalem code through a millennium in Scandinavian cultures has taken us from Christianization to secularization, from Jerusalem as the navel of the world and the goal of salvation history to the vision of the Scandinavian welfare state as a realized utopia.

Today, the master narrative of the Christian Jerusalem code is in the process of being deconstructed – in secularized Scandinavia as elsewhere in Western culture. The storyworld of Christianity is scattered, and competing storyworlds that also gravitate around Jerusalem are available in our neighborhoods, and in social media. Is the Jerusalem code about to be a forgotten cultural code, increasingly hidden and inaccessible? If so, this is happening in a world in which the actual city of Jerusalem continues to represent a pivotal point – of tension and conflict.

This three-day conference gathers international scholars from multiple disciplines, ranging from distinguished keynote speakers to young PhD students. Together, they will shed light on a millennium of deconstructed and reconfigured interpretations of Jerusalem – in Scandinavia and elsewhere in the Western world.

Program for the conference

Mary Carruthers’ key note lecture is open to all.

Registration is required to attend the entire program:
REGISTRATION

 

Dato/tid: 
04.12.2018 - 09:00 til 06.12.2018 - 16:00

Program for the conference

Jerusalem

Program for the conference

Tuesday December 4

Venue: MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, Gydas vei 4, Auditorium 1

09:00-09:30 Coffee and registration

09:30 Welcome by Vidar Haanes, President MF. Practical information

Tracing the Jerusalem Code through the Second Millennium

Kristin B. Aavitsland (Oslo)
Eivor Andersen Oftestad (Oslo)
Ragnhild J. Zorgati (Oslo)

11:00-11:30 Coffee break

11:30  Keynote lecture 1:
The Geometry of Creativity: Jerusalem as a Visionary Tool
Mary Carruthers (New York/Oxford)

12:30-13:30 Lunch break

13:30 Session 1: Jerusalem as a rhetorical model in Scandinavian culture
Jerusalem Commonplaces and Church Architecture in Medieval Denmark
Line M. Bonde (Oslo)                        

The Limits of Representation: The New Jerusalem and the Reformation
Martin Wangsgaard Jürgensen (Copenhagen)

A Celestial Homecoming. Jerusalem as an Image of Security in the Poetry of Viktor Rydberg
Andreas Hedberg (Uppsala)

15:00-15:30 Coffee break, foyer exhibition: Elisabeth Andersen (Oslo) 

15:30 Session 2: Translatio templi – Legitimation of Religious Authority                                                       
From Templum domini to Qubbat al-Sakhrah: physical and symbolic appropriation of Mount Moriah, 692-1187
John Tolan (Nantes)

A Northern Reflection: Connecting St Olav, Nidaros and the Holy Land 1153 – 1200
Øystein Ekroll (Trondheim)

Translating Jerusalem to Rome through the legendary figure of the Empress Helena, ca. 1450-1650
Marianne Ritsema van Eck (Leiden)

The Image of Jerusalem Destroyed: Deceptions and Scandals in Early Modern Controversies on the Apocalypse
Marius T. Mjaaland (Oslo)

18:00 Reception and buffet dinner

Wednesday December 5

Venue: University of Oslo, Karl Johans gate 47, Professorboligen

09:00 Keynote lecture 2:
Apocalyptic Visions and Chiliastic Highways. Some Future Jerusalems of Early Modern Europe
Walter Sparn (Erlangen)

10:00 Coffee break

10:30 Session 3: Defining the Storyworld: Holy Peoples Writing History
Zion in the North: Liturgy, History, and State Building in Late Medieval Uppsala
Biörn Tjällén (Sundsvall)

The Jerusalem Code and the Rhetoric of Nationhood in Early Modern Sweden
Nils Ekedahl (Stockholm)

Traces of Biblical thinking in Ludvig Holberg’s historiography
Inga H. Undheim (Bergen)

12:00 Lunch break

12:30 Visit to the medieval collection at the University Museum of Cultural History

13:30 Session 4: Mapping the Storyworld: Perceptions of Jerusalem and the Holy Land

Placing Jerusalem. Voice and Perspective in William of Tyre’s description of the city (c. 1180)
Lars Boje Mortensen (Odense)

An Ancient Present: The Early Modern Landscape of the Holy Land
Erling Sandmo (Oslo)

Impossible Jerusalem: Symptoms of Secular Modernity in an Early Twentieth-Century Arabic Novel
Rana Hishem Issa (Beirut)

15:00-15:30 Coffee break

15:30 Session 5: Configuring the Storyworld: Visitors and Inhabitants of the Holy Land

Polemic and Irenic Encounters in Late Medieval Jerusalem
Valentina Covaci (Bucharest)

From Stockholm to Jerusalem. Mission, Welfare and Local Encounters in the Holy Land, 1922-1948
Inger Marie Okkenhaug (Volda)

Selma Lagerlöf’s Jerusalemites in Silent Movies
Anna Nordlund (Uppsala)

19:30 Conference dinner

Thursday December 6

Venue: National Library of Norway, Henrik Ibsens gate 110

09:00 Key note lecture 3
Jerusalem at the Intersection of Private and Public Devotion: Early Modern Interpretations of the Psalter
Mette Birkedal Bruun (Copenhagen) 

10:00-10:30 Coffee break with show of material from the collections of the National Library of Norway         

10:30 Session 6: Expectations of Fulfillment in the New Jerusalem

"Nothing Unclean or Common" in the New Jerusalem. Ideas of Impurity in the Pietist Movement of Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824)
Jostein Garcia de Presno (Volda/Oslo)

The Sound of Heavenly Jeruraslem  Joar Haga (Stavanger)

Mini-concert with singer and pianist Solveig Slettahjell

12:00 Lunch break

13:00 Session 7: Cultivating the Storyworld: the Fertility of Promised Lands

The Natural History of the Holy Land: sacred roses, trees, and mountains in the Middle Ages
Anthony Bale (London)

Greening the Jerusalem Code in America: Emanuel Swedenborg and Urban Environmental Imaginaries
Devin Zuber (Berkeley)

The Poetry and Politics of the Green Line Project (2004)
Kobi Ben-Meir (Berlin/Jerusalem)

14:30-15:00 Coffee break

15:00 Session 8: A Reconfigured Jerusalem Code? 
 

The Crusades today: 27 Views in International Comparison
Johannes Meyer-Hamme (Paderborn) & Felix Hinz (Freiburg)

A Postludium of the Jerusalem Code? Condcluding words

16:00 End of conference

Gateway to Heaven? Open key note lecture

Page from manuscript from Germany, 1475

Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. Auct. M.3(1). Xylograph on paper, Germany 1475.

Gateway to Heaven? Open key note lecture

It is a great honor and pleasure to have Mary Carruthers, Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Literature at New York University and Quondam Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford, as our first key note speaker at our conference.Her influential books on medieval rhetoric, aesthetics, cognitive theory, and the art of memory have made Carruthers a game changer in international medieval studies.

Her Oslo lecture is open to everyone, and takes place on Tuesday, December 4, 11:30-12:30, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, Auditorium 1.

The Geometry of Creativity: Jerusalem as a Visionary Tool  

This lecture will explore how architectural patterns based on particular buildings in medieval visionary Jerusalem—in particular the Temple, the Watchtower, and the glorified City—served as basic tools for inventing compositions of meditation and prayer, especially during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. I will investigate the fundamental cognitive insight of medieval compositional practice, that shape and pattern not only help us envision what we already know, but invite us to discover often surprising logical relationships that can provoke our thinking in new ways.


Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. Auct. M.3(1). Xylograph on paper, Germany 1475.

Dato/tid: 
04.12.2018 - 11:30 til 12:30

Key note lecturers

Key note lecturers

Mary Carruthers 
Erich Maria Remarque Professor em. of Literature at New York University and Quondam Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford, distinguished medievalist.

Her influential books on medieval rhetoric, aesthetics, cognitive theory, and the art of memory have made Carruthers a game changer of international medieval studies. Among her most read and best known publications are The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture (1990/2008),The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric and the Making of Images 400–1200 (1998), and The Experience of Beauty in the Middle Ages (2013).

Her Oslo talk is entitled:
The Geometry of Creativity: Jerusalem as a Visionary Tool               

Abstract:
This lecture will explore how architectural patterns based on particular buildings in medieval visionary Jerusalem—in particular the Temple, the Watchtower, and the glorified City—served as basic tools for inventing compositions of meditation and prayer, especially during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. I will investigate the fundamental cognitive insight of medieval compositional practice, that shape and pattern not only help us envision what we already know, but invite us to discover often surprising logical relationships that can provoke our thinking in new ways.

 

Walter Sparn

 

Mette Birkedal Bruun
Professor of Church History, Copenhagen University

 

Anna Bohlin 
Assoc. Prof. of Literature, Stockholm University and University of Bergen.

She has published predominantly on Swedish nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century authors, such as Selma Lagerlöf and Fredrika Bremer. Currently she is working on the research project “Enchanting Nations: Commodity Market, Folklore and Nationalism in Scandinavian Literature 1830–1850” (funded by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Siences 2016–2018).

For our conference, she will give a lecture with the following title:
Nationalizing the Holy Land: The Jerusalem Code in the Scandinavian Nineteenth Century

Abstract:
In the nineteenth century the Jerusalem code was increasingly put under pressure: re-defined, re-theorized, fragmented and compartmentalized, but in no way abandoned. Rather, in a certain sense the Jerusalem code expanded, legitimizing new areas. In my talk, I will reflect on some aspects of the outcome of the third sub-project of Tracing the Jerusalem Code, covering the period from the late eighteenth to the beginning of the twentieth centuries. The research project will show that the story world of Christian salvation history was used to promote precisely those movements of modernity that have later been identified as the causes of secularization and the decline of the impact of Christianity in Scandinavian cultures, such as modern science and democratizing movements leading to the welfare state. I will address how the idea of the kingdom of God on earth was used to legitimize the developing welfare state, how a nationalism of calling – imagining different Scandinavian peoples as chosen by God – took on a new meaning, and how cartography may be regarded as the epicentre for the upheavals splitting the Jerusalem code.