Translation: encounters with the sacred in objects and places will feature contributions from  historians, archaeologists, artists, theologians and scientists as they discuss what it means to work with the sacred in today’s world. 

This free, one-day symposium is for anyone with an interest in history, relics and how the past can continue to speak into present-day life. The morning will focus on the practices and processes involved in investigating the sacred. People will have the chance to hear about the discovery and verification of the remains of Saint Eanswythe, thought to be England’s earliest verified saint.

There will also be contributions from experts in caring for relics and medieval treasuries including Professor Julia Smith (Chichele Professor of Medieval History, University of Oxford), who will discuss her work on the cult of saints and its sacred objects. 

In the afternoon, speakers will further explore the experience of the sacred in historic sites and objects including the enchantment of Kits Coty in Kent and a reflection on our attachment to time and ancient places that draws on the work of Terry Pratchett.  

Leading archaeologist, pre-historian and author, Professor Timothy Darvill, will be taking a personal look at his work at Stonehenge and elsewhere and the Rt Revd John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, who has written on sacred place and space,  will give the keynote address.

“We are privileged to have contributions from some eminent thinkers in the field,’’ said Rev Lesley Hardy, one of the speakers and part of the team behind the event. 

“While it will be great to explore the story of Eanswythe, this day goes so much further, offering people an opportunity to hear and engage with a range of stories and insights about how our sacred history continues to shape our world. We hope this will be the start of further conversations and work.

’’People will also have chance to watch films about sacred heritage and view an exhibition about the Three Days in January project. The full programme can be downloaded here

The full list of speakers is below: 

  • Dr Andrew Richardson (Isle Heritage, 3 Days in January): The relics of St Eanswythe
  • Dr Ellie Williams (Dept of Archaeology, Canterbury Christ Church University): Studying the bones of St Eanswythe
  • Dana Goodburn-Brown (AMTeC Co-Op): Caring for relics
  • Prof Julia Smith (Chichele Professor of Medieval History, All Souls College, Oxford): Encounters with relics in Medieval ecclesiastical treasuries
  • Revd Dr Lesley Hardy (3 Days in January): The thief of time – time slicing, faith and being human
  • Bryan Hawkins (Artist in Residence, Canterbury Archaeological Trust): Walking Widdershins: Kits Coty, Kent, as a centre of enchantment. 
  • Prof. Timothy Darvill (Dept of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bournemouth): Conversations with stones: it’s only rock and roll, but I like it
  • Rt Revd Dr John Inge (Bishop of Worcester): Objects of faith in place

More details

By Ed

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