Dr Gustav Zamore

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow

Gustav Zamore studied at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, gaining a BA and MA in Latin there in 2010 and 2011 respectively. After completing an MSt in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford in 2012, he continued there with doctoral studies there and obtained a D.Phil in 2017.

Following a career break, he was a researcher at the Department of History at Stockholm University 2018-2021 and the Secretary for the Centre for Medieval Studies 2019-2020. He is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow at the Faculty of History and a Research Fellow at Clare Hall.

Medieval religious culture and social history of the High and Late Middle Ages. I am in particular interested in episcopal authority, dissent and violence.

My current project challenges our understanding of medieval sacred spaces––churches, chapels, shrines, and processions between them––by arguing that they functioned not only as spaces of worship but as arenas of political conflict in England and Europe between ca. 1250 and 1450. This transformational period follows the fourth Lateran council and the Church’s inauguration of a powerful pastoral programme that sought to foster (and control) lay participation in the church, and ends with the crisis of authority following the social transformations and calamities of the fourteenth century. I argue that the ritual symbols and practices that defined sacred spaces were harnessed in tactical and opportunistic acts that challenged the social hierarchies and power relations that sacred spaces reflected and legitimised. By considering sacred spaces as deeply intertwined with structures of power and authority, this project will transform scholarship that has thus far largely focused on ‘secular’ areas as the main sites of social conflict. I will integrate a wide variety of sources to examine how class, social status, and gender shaped acts of disruption that contested the social hierarchies and power relations that were expressed and legitimised through sacred spaces, thus refuting the projection of strict modern boundaries between sacred and profane onto the medieval past.


Tags & Themes


Clare Hall


A Peripheral Heretic? An Early Fourteenth-Century Heresy Trial from Sweden’, Historical Research 93, no. 262 (2020): 599-620. Published with Open Access: https://doi.org/10.1093/hisres/htaa023

‘Arnulf of Lisieux and the Crisis at Grestain 1164-6: Brother Bishops, Inherited Policies, and Failed Leadership’, Journal of Medieval History 46, no. 4 (2020): 419-448. Published with Open Access: https://doi.org/10.1080/03044181.2020.1787210

‘Bonaventure’s Thought Experiment: The Use of synderesis in the Itinerarium mentis in Deum, the Ineffability Topos, and Francis’s Stigmata’, in P. Knox, J. Morton, and D. Reeve (eds.), Medieval Thought Experiments: Poetry and Hypothesis in Europe: 1100-1450 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018): 173-195.