Searching for the Self in Danish Twelfth-Century Churches: A Praxeological Experiment

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This article elicits statements about the medieval self from the Danish rural churches. It explores one ubiquitous style-making motif in Romanesque church architecture, namely the round arch. This "commonplace motif" is fused with practice theory to show how meaning-making arise in interplay between ritual practices, practitioners, and the churches' visual articulation. The article suggests that it is possible to explore aspects of perception by the participating self, but not the self as a traditional subject-based entity through this combined approach. The underlying objective of the article is to explore the twelfth-century churches from a non-conventional approach. This article is, in essence, a methodological and theoretical experiment. It explores the limits of what can reasonably be said about the medieval self 1 based on the rural churches of twelfth-century Denmark. Traditionally, these churches have been viewed as mute and thus redundant in relation to questions of medieval selfhood, cognition, and perception. The primary concern is, then, how we can get these buildings to talk, and to that, if and how they might testify to a notion of the medieval self. Conventional, discipline-specific approaches have proven to be insufficient in this regard. As such, the following article is an attempt at fusing different branches of current theories from the humanities and the social sciences in an effort to explore otherwise inaccessible information. More simply put: What did the visual articulation of twelfth-century churches intend? How were they used? And, might this intent and ritual usage inform us of aspects of the medieval self? In order to explore these questions, it will be useful to suggest a hypothesis to drive the discussion throughout the article. The working hypothesis to be tested on the material is thus: meaning-making
TitelApproaches to the Medieval Self : Representations and Conceptualizations of the Self in the Textual and Material Culture of Western Scandinavia, c.800-1500
RedaktørerStefka G. Eriksen, Karen Langsholt Holmqvist, Bjørn Bandlien
Antal sider22
UdgivelsesstedBerlin, Boston
ForlagDe Gruyter
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-11-065555-1
ISBN (Elektronisk)9783110655582-014
StatusUdgivet - 2020
Udgivet eksterntJa