University of Leeds Hosts International Project: Modern Europe Meets Reform

Eighteen delegates, a mix of well-established academics, early career researchers, and PhD students, attended the international project 'Modern Europe Meets Reform', hosted at the University of Leeds.

Modern Europe Meets Reform
Modern Europe Meets Reform, a workshop part of an international project organised by Professor Julia Barrow and Dr Ceri Pitches titled Rethinking Reform 900-1150: Conceptualising Change in Medieval Religious Institutions, was hosted at the University of Leeds on 12-13 April, 2018. Eighteen delegates from all stages of academic careers, and from four European countries, attended the event. Modern Europe Meets Reform investigated the development of historical writing about the medieval church across the period from the Reformation to the twentieth century. Funding for travel expenses was provided for several PhD students through the Leverhulme Trust International Network grant, which funds the project. 

The organisers paired two talks with similar themes, then followed both 30-minute presentations by a 30-minute discussion period where delegates could ask questions and share insights. The pairs of papers were as follows: 

  • Onofrio Panvinio's View of Gregory VII in his History of Papal Elections (1558-1563), by Stefan Bauer, University of York and Reformatio or Restauratio? Cardinal Baronius and the Rehabilitation of Gregory VII's status in the XI Volume of the Annales Ecclesiastici, by Gianmarco Giuliani, SNS Pisa/EPHE Paris
  • Henry Hart Milman and the Liberal Anglican Discovery of Medieval Church Reform, by Joshua Bennett, Christ Church, University of Oxford and Post-Reformation Views of Religious Reform in England c.900-1150: Thomas Fuller and Jeremy Collier, by Stephen Taylor, Durham University 

 Two other papers were given individually, followed by a discussion each: 

  • Reform or Restoration? Hallam and Stubbs on Church and State, by Nicholas Vincent, University of East Anglia
  • Law and Reform: Burchard of Worms and His Readers, by Kathleen Cushing, University of Keele

The programme concluded with a 30-minute Summing Up, delivered by Sarah Hamilton, University of Exeter, followed by a 45-minute roundtable discussion. 

In addition, a special exhibition of books related to the papers was available to view in Brotherton Special Collections on 12 April 2018 from 16:00-17:30, and again during lunchtime the following day. Presenters with expert knowledge of the books were invited to discuss. 

What's Next? 
This three-year international project titled Rethinking Reform 900-1150: Conceptualising Change in Medieval Religious Institutions, funded by a Levehulme Trust International Network Grant, seeks to bring together medieval and modernist scholars in an informal environment from across Europe, to discuss how changes in medieval churches were understood and explained in their own day and how they have been reinterpreted in post-Reformation and especially post-Napoleonic historical writing. 

The final workshop of the project will be held in JGU Mainz (Germany) on 13-14 September 2018, with the theme 'The Drive for Purity'. Once more speakers will be invited from across Europe and also the USA. 

This workshop will be followed by a larger conference at Ghent University (Belgium) in May 2019, and this conference will conclude the entire project.  Two publications arising from the project are also in progress. 

Led by Professor Julia Barrow and organised by Dr Ceri Pitches, the other network partners are the University of East Anglia (UEA), University of Paris VIII, University of Mainz, KU (Catholic University) Leuven, Durham University, and Ghent University. Previous workshops have been held at the University of York and KU Leuven. 

For more information about the project, see the website here: