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Ecclesiastical remedies for the uncertainties of everyday life - religious services offered by the lower clergy in past and present 
Judit Kis-Halas (University of Ljubljana)
Dániel Bárth (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)
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Tomáš Malý (Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts)
Judit Kis-Halas (University of Ljubljana)
Saturday 10 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Prague

Short Abstract:

Religious services to tackle individual / collective challenges such as epidemics, natural catastrophes, or war have been among the tools of Christian crises management since the Middle Ages. Combining historical and ethnographic perspectives, practices of the lower clergy in Europe are highlighted.

Long Abstract:

Religious services offered by the clergy amidst the uncertainties of human life have been among the tools of Christian crises management since the Middle Ages. This panel highlights the practices of priests in the local communities of various denominations from early modern to the present-day Europe. It explores their attempts to heal the bodily and mental sufferings, and to tackle the individual or collective crises emerging in the wake of epidemics, climate change or war. Within the broad range of individual and collective needs met by clerical service providers a special emphasis is placed on diseases and healing. Religious, lay and learned forms of healing have been present, particularly since the 18th century, as parallel offers, which causes people to face a constant dilemma of choice, or even the option of benefitting from each. Besides clerical services of a medical nature, ecclesiastical approaches target this-worldly human welfare by the mediation of religious other-worldly power (e. g. grace). The sanctification of religious objects or the application of various blessings and exorcisms all belong to the rich repository of crises management that priests have at their disposal. The organizers of the panel welcome both general (theoretical) approaches, and case studies, either based on archival sources in the case of historical material or drawing on ethnographic field work with regards to our present days.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Saturday 10 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Saturday 10 June, 2023, -