CfP: Materiality and the Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages (IMC, Leeds, 2019)

The forthcoming International Medieval Congress in Leeds has ‘Materialities’ as its special thematic strand. The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity project (though it formally ends in December 2018) will therefore be running a series of sessions on material aspects of the cult of saints. We will focus on objects: holy images, pilgrim tokens, flasks, relics, and reliquaries, and on the close context of the cult, for instance monumental tombs, crypts etc. The sessions aim to address the following questions:

  • In what ways were cults shaped by their physical environment?
  • How important was the presence of holy objects to the establishment and development of a cult and cult site?
  • How did objects help to establish and spread cults beyond the main cult site?
  • In what ways did the material form of cult reflect theological ideas?

Those interested in presenting papers at these sessions, particularly if focused on the period before c. AD 1000, are requested to send a short abstract (up to 200 words) to Robert Wiśniewski ( and Bryan Ward-Perkins ( by 15 September. Please note that the conveners, sadly, cannot cover the conference fee and travel expenses.