The Modern Devotion as a vehicle of reflection and education and as an instrument of social and cultural cohesion within a German-Dutch trans-regional context, ca. 1350- ca.1580
01 / 2009 - 12 / 2011
During the last few decades much research has been done on the Modern Devotion as a spiritual and devotional movement from the 14th through the mid-16th centuries. The emphasis in these studies traditionally laid on its region of origin ? the IJssel-region - and has gradually shifted to the western parts of the Netherlands, investigating the interaction between Flanders, Brabant, Utrecht and Holland, while the development eastward got much less attention. This state of affairs allows ? and in fact obliges - us to widen our horizon to be able to analyze the ways in which the spread of the Modern Devotion influenced the traditions and practice of (historical) reflection and education, and contributed to the circulation of knowledge in a trans-regional context. This new approach therefore will be especially directed to the eastern parts of the Netherlands and the adjacent area of Westphalia and the Lower Rhineland. This region constitutes a common socio-cultural and linguistic landscape in which students, teachers and preachers exchanged convictions and knowledge. Their activities and ideas not only deserve further investigation as such, but they can and should be understood also at a higher level as instruments of social and cultural cohesion. The project aims to develop a new branch of research on the interrelations between devotional, intellectual and social developments and to create a focussing point, that will result in an innovative international research proposal.