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Professor Mary Laven joint winner of Bainton History / Theology Prize

last modified Sep 16, 2019 05:16 PM

The Faculty is delighted to announce the award of the Bainton History / Theology Prize to Professor Mary Laven and her collaborators Professor Deborah Howard (Architecture and History of Art) and Dr Abigail Brundin (Modern and Medieval Languages) for their co-authored book, The Sacred Home in Renaissance Italy.

Book cover

Published by Oxford University Press in 2018, The Sacred Home is the final product of a four-year research ‘Synergy’ project, ‘Domestic Devotions: The Place of Piety in the Italian Renaissance Home’, funded by the European Research Council.

The Synergy grant enabled a team of nine researchers led by Laven, Brundin and Howard to investigate the centrality of religion within the home from a multidisciplinary perspective. While scholars have written extensively about the church and ‘civic religion’ in early modern Italy, the nature of personal and familial devotion, hidden from view behind the walls of private dwellings, has remained largely unexplored. In recovering this lost history, the authors of The Sacred Home benefited immeasurably from collaboration. Only by combining research methods from across the disciplines and by drawing together a plethora of sources – books, family records, material objects, buildings, paintings etc. – were they able to observe the everyday religious practices of ordinary people.

Domestic Devotions team on a fieldwork trip in the Marche, Central Italy

The Bainton Prizes are awarded by the Sixteenth Century Studies Society in recognition of ‘the best works written in English’ relating to the period 1450-1660. The criteria for selection include quality and originality of research; methodological skill and/or innovation; development of fresh and stimulating interpretations or insights; and literary quality. Former winners of the History/Theology prize include Faculty members Professors Alexandra Walsham and Ulinka Rublack.

 Parents at Prayer beside their Baby’s Cradle, 1530,  tempera on panel, 20.5 cm. x 23.5 cm.  Lonigo, Madonna dei Miracoli, Museo degli ex voto.

To find out more about The Sacred Home, click here

Click here for further information about the Roland H. Bainton Prizes.



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