This Action aims to coordinate research activities being currently developed at a number of European universities and research institutes and create a (virtual) centre of expertise for the study of religious culture in late medieval and early modern Europe, a period traditionally depicted as one of great cultural discontinuity and binary oppositions between learned (Latin) and unlearned (vernacular) and ecclesiastical hierarchy and the lay believers. Challenging stereotypical descriptions of exclusion of lay and non-Latinate people from religious and cultural life the project, this Action will concentrate on the reconstruction of the process of emancipation of the laity and the creation of new "communities of interpretations". The Action will therefore analyze patterns of social inclusion and exclusion and examine shifts in hierarchic relations amongst groups, individuals and their languages, casting new yet profoundly historical light on themes of seminal relevance to present-days societies.
Elisabeth Salter is a member of the Management Committee, coordinator, with Dr Pavlina Rychterova, University of Vienna, of Work Group 1 " Theoretical Approaches" and a member of the Editorial for the New Communities of Interpretation book series published by Brepols.
For more information see COST Action IS 1301 New Communities of Interpretation: Contexts, Strategies and Processes of Religious Transformation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. A European network: Over 130 researchers from 20 countries.