Book launch: From Hus to Luther -Visual Culture in the Bohemian Reformation (1380-1620)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – 7:00pm to 8:30pm
CEU, Nador u. 9, 1051 Budapest
Monument Building, Gellner Room

Book launch

From Hus to Luther –Visual Culture in the Bohemian Reformation (1380-1620) edited  by Katerina Hornicková and M. Šroněk, presented by Béla Zsolt Szakács

The first study representing a little-known phenomenon in Bohemian cultural and political history – the visual culture that grew up in the environment of the Reformation churches in Bohemia from the Hussites until the defeat of the Estates by the Habsburgs at White Mountain in 1620.

This book portrays a little-known phenomenon in Bohemian cultural and political history – the visual culture that grew up in the environment of Reformation churches in Bohemia from the time of the Hussites until the defeat of the Estates by the Habsburg coalition at White Mountain in 1620. It provides the first comprehensive overview of a forgotten era of artistic production over a period of approximately two hundred years, when most of the population of Bohemia professed non-Catholic faiths.

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries a unique situation arose in Bohemia, with five main Christian denominations (Utraquists, Lutherans, the Unity of Brethren, Calvinists, and Catholics) gradually coming to function alongside each other, with a number of other religious groups also active. The main churches, which had a fundamental influence on political stability in the state, were the majority Utraquists and the minority Catholics. Yet the essays of this book establish that despite the particularities of the Bohemian situation, the religious trends of Bohemia were an integral part of the process of Reformation across Europe.

Featuring over fifty illustrations including manuscript illumination, panel painting, and architecture, the book also presents the surviving cultural products of the four non-Catholic Christian denominations, ranging from the more moderate to radical Reformation cultures. The book also analyses the attitudes of these denominations to religious representations, and illuminates their uses of visual media in religious and confessional communication. The book thus opens up both the Reformation culture of Bohemia and its artistic heritage to an international audience.

Kateřina Horníčková obtained her PhD at CEU Budapest in 2009. She is  a researcher at the FWF SFB 42 research program, Visions of Community, based in Vienna, and lecturer in art history at the University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice. She has published on late medieval art and the Hussites, medieval treasures and piety, and collaborated in several interdisciplinary projects on medieval, and early modern visual and material culture.

Michal Šroněk obtained his PhD at Masaryk University, Brno. He is a researcher at the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences and university professor of art history at the University of South Bohemia. He specialises in Early Modern painting and visual culture. He is the author of several monographs and studies on sixteenth- and seventeeth-century Bohemian art, and on the connections between art and the Reformation.


Public Lecture at CEU: A Sinner in the City: the Later Medieval Cult of Mary Magdalene in Central Europe

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm
CEU, Nador u. 9, Budapest 1051
Monument Building, Gellner Room

Public lecture

A Sinner in the City: the Later Medieval Cult of Mary Magdalene in Central Europe, by Zoë Opačić

The cult of Mary Magdalene has enjoyed a steadily growing popularity in late-medieval Central Europe as in its western and southern regions. Churches dedicated to the saint occupied strategic locations in Buda, Krakow and Vienna and were often linked with important urban rituals and prestigious confraternities. This multi-layered ‘urban’ quality of the Magdalene’s cult is investigated through a close-up analysis of a mysterious 15th-century relief, originally a tympanum, which shows the saint as the witness to the Resurrection of Christ. Research has shown that the tympanum (now in the Wien Museum) once formed a part of an ambitious Gothic facade of the Mary Magdalene chapel in the cathedral square.  The rebuilding of the chapel as the seat of the powerful Notaries guild and of the Corpus Christi confraternity was one of several civic initiatives in and around Vienna, which involved the cathedral lodge. It will be argued that the intriguing Magdalene relief cannot be explained by conventional iconographic tools alone. Its meaning can only be extrapolated by focusing on its location and the role of the Stephansplatz as a site of communal rituals of salvation in the form of relic displays, Passion plays and Corpus Christ processions, set amidst one of Vienna’s largest and oldest cemeteries. By drawing comparisons across the region, this lecture will demonstrate the development of a sophisticated insight into Mary Magdalene’s dual role as an equal member of the Apostolic elite and also as a reformed sinner and as role model of the life (and death) transforming belief through sight.

Zoë Opačić specialises in the medieval art, architecture and urbanism in Central Europe. She is a senior lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Editor of the Journal of the British Archaeological Association. She is a long-standing collaborator of the CEU (as well as its staunch supporter), and is currently its visiting lecturer.




25(-26) September 2017, Prague


An International Workshop proposed by the Center for Ibero-American Studies (SIAS FF UK), the French Institute for Research in Social Sciences (CEFRES) and the Institute of Art History of Czech Academy of Sciencies (ÚDU AV ČR)


Deadline for proposals (250 words): 26 June 2017

Notification due: 31 July 2017

Scientific organizers: Monika Brenišínová (SIAS FF UK) and Katalin Pataki (CEU/CEFRES)


The aim of the workshop is to set into focus the monastic space as a multifaceted research theme from a global and interdisciplinary perspective. We invite papers that address the questions how monastic institutions contributed to the flow and exchanges of cultural practices and how their role as cultural mediators shaped their material culture and spatial politics. The scope of the workshop has no timely, geographical or confessional limitations as it intends to generate dialogue between researchers from various disciplinary backgrounds.


For centuries, monasteries served as centers of education and culture. Literary works, sermons, translations and artefacts were created among their walls that never served merely as an impenetrable isolation from the outer world, but rather represented a conscious politics of structuring both the physical and the mental space. They kept contact not only with their closer environment, but also formed part of greater intellectual, spiritual and economic networks and interacted with different stakeholders of worldly power. They could serve as strongholds of cultural and religious missions that penetrated into new territories, triggered intercultural and interconfessional interactions and facilitated knowledge transfers, while their long-lasting presence in a territory could also ensure continuity and enables the investigation of long durée changes, reforms and renewals. Their evolvements and transformations unavoidably shaped both their inner spaces (including material culture and architecture), and the landscape around them and thus, they also contributed to the formation of such notions as identity, borders and migration.


Against this background, we invite papers on the following thematic fields:

religious orders as stakeholders of social disciplining; confessionalization; colonization; cultural, religious and political missions; ecclesiastical and social reforms; etc.

monasteries as mediators in the flow of ideas; material goods (artefacts, relics, precious materials, medicinal drugs, etc.); devotional, educational, healing practices

spatial agenda of monastic institutions that shapes its closer environment materially (e.g. agricultural practices, setting up of parishes, chapels, shrines, etc.) and the perception the landscape in which they operate.

The workshop is designed primarily for young researchers— especially Ph.D. and postdoctoral students—aiming to explore the future perspectives of the aforementioned themes in an innovative way and to lay down the foundations of further cooperation beyond disciplinary and national boundaries. Simultaneously, it also aims to create a forum that features well-known scholars among its speakers and disseminates information about ongoing research projects, academic working groups and relevant publications. The Journal Ibero-Americana Pragensia also offers the opportunity to publish the presented papers. The language of the workshop is English, but abstracts submitted in other languages (German, Spanish, French) can be also accepted.


If you are interested in participating, please send your name, academic affiliation and an abstract of 250 words by 26 June to the following email address: Applicants will be informed about the selection of their papers by 31 July.


Conference on The Ottoman Conquest and Knowledge: A Transcultural History

Medieval Studies at Cambridge

The aim of this conference is to further our understanding of the ways in which knowledge was transformed, exchanged, diversified, expanded, and suppressed during the period beginning with the Ottoman
conquest of the Eastern Mediterranean. The broad (transcultural) scope of this conference is represented by scholars from diverse fields who have been brought together to discuss the far-reaching
and varied impact of the Ottoman conquest.

The conference will take place at Newnham College, Cambridge, July 6-7, 2017.

For further information about the conference and attendance, please contact the conference organiser, Dr Alexandra Vukovich, at