6 October 2016

Project Launch Meeting HERILIGION at HERA workshop conference Prague

The participants of the project HERILIGION met for the first time during the HERA 2016 workshop which took place at the Brevnov Monastery, Prague on September 15th and 16th. The workshop consisted of concluding presentations of the Joint Research Programme 'Cultural Encounters' and the launch of the current programme 'Uses of the Past', of which HERILIGION is a part. This conference allowed us to draw upon the experience of researchers who have concluded HERA projects, and to imagine interesting interrelations with the other projects. Particularly the projects Deploying the Dead and Protestant Legacies in Nordic Law offered interesting resonances with HERILIGION. We hope that some form of exchange will be possible in the years to come.

After the HERA workshop, the HERILIGION researchers met for a full day in the Strahov Monastery for our project launch meeting on September 17th. Interestingly, both the HERA workshop as well as our project meeting took place in convention centers and hotels that used to be monasteries. These places of worship have taken on a multitude of more secular functions. This provided a suitable backdrop for the start of this project that analyzes the many ways in which religious heritage plays a part in contemporary Europe.

The meeting started out with members of each team highlighting major research focus areas in Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom before moving on with discussing the shared framework that binds these concerns. The input from the previous HERA-projects proved helpful. P.I's of previous projects had outlined a number of valuable lessons, including the importance of cultivating enthusiasm for substantive work, setting up a clear system of responsibilities and documentation, and including more diverse activities in our collaborations. In line with these passed-on wisdoms, our meeting concluded with plans for setting up a dictionary of central terms of our project, extensive documentation, and collaborative ideas for panels, publications and dissemination. The next meeting of the project will take place during the SIEF conference 2017, followed by a plenary meeting in Krakow in December 2017.












The Strahov Monastery