Seminar: Fragments of Heaven on Earth (26 April 2017)

Research Training on Devotional Prints and Relics from the Heritage Collection of the Ruusbroec Institute

Organized by the Ruusbroec Institute

The seminar Fragments of Heaven on Earth offers an interactive English-spoken training for 10 PhD students and postdocs with a research interest in devotional prints and relics. This hands on research training has two aims:

  1. to encourage reflection on the historical function, value and provenance of devotional prints and relics
  2. to generate research questions with relevance both to researchers and curators of devotional prints and relics


Morning session – Devotional Prints (9.00-12.30)

  1. Peter Nissen (Radboud University Nijmegen) – keynote lecture – The embodiment of belief. On the study of devotional objects and lived religion
  2. Karen Bowen (Univeristy Library, University of Antwerp) – Furthering Research in Devotionalia: The Electronic Catalogue of Devotional Prints from the Collection of Alfons Thijs
  3. Ingrid Falque (Université Catholique de Louvain) – Topic: Functions of Religious Graphics – Prayer, Devotion, Meditation

Afternoon session - Relics (13.30-17.00)

  1. Evelyne Verheggen (independent researcher) – Spiritual Pilgrimage: Relics since Early Modern Times – Production and Devotion
  2. Charles Caspers (Titus Brandsma Institute, Nijmegen) – Body and Feast. Relics as Constituents of the Liturgy
  3. Hans Geybels (University of Leuven) – Devotional images and imagination. A myriad of research fields

Practical details

  • Date: 26 April 2017
  • Venue: Ruusbroec Institute Library (Grote Kauwenberg 32 – 2000 Antwerp)
  • No fee: lunch, coffee breaks, and closing reception included


Please register before 26 March by sending an e-mail to with the following information:

  • PhD or postdoc?
  • affiliation
  • current research project
  • short motivation for your registration

The number of participants is limited to 10 PhD students and postdocs. Admittance will be in order of registration after evaluation of the motivations. Master students can register but will only be admitted when the maximum number of participants is not reached. You will receive a confirmation of your admittance before 1 April 2017, which will include further details. For more information, please contact