Keynote speakers

Professor Irene Stengs, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

Irene Stengs is Professor by special appointment ‘Anthropology of Ritual and Popular Culture’ at the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam) and Senior Researcher at the Meertens Institute (Amsterdam). Her research in the Netherlands and Thailand focuses on popular religiosity, material culture, the dynamics of contemporary commemorative ritual and the relation between processes of heritage making and identity politics. With regard to the latter theme in particular, she worked with colleagues from Denmark, Poland, Portugal and the UK, in the HERA funded research project HERILIGION: The Heritagization of Religion and Sacralization of Heritage. Stengs is the author of Worshipping the Great Moderniser. King Chulalongkorn, Patron Saint of the Thai Middle Class (2009, NUS Press, Singapore), co-editor of The Secular Sacred. Emotions of Belonging and the Perils of Nation and Religion (2020, Palgrave, with Markus Balkenhol and Ernst van den Hemel) and co-editor of Managing Sacralities. Competing and Converging Claims of Religious Heritage (2022, Berghahn, with Ernst van den Hemel and Oscar Salemink). Bibliography and research profile found here.

Irene Stengs will give a keynote lecture on the theme: The Making of Religious Heritage: Diverging Sacralities in Contemporary Europe







Professor Arne Bugge Amundsen, University of Oslo

Arne Bugge Amundsen is Professor of Cultural History at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, Norway. Before his current position, he was Professor of folklore studies at the University of Oslo. His special academic field is cultural history, especially of Northern Europe in the period 1500-1900 and with particular emphasis on popular culture, religious and church history, museum studies and regional history. Recent research projects have been European National Museums. Identity politics, the uses of the past and the European citizen, (EuNaMus), a European project on national museums, funded by the EU 7th Frame Program, 2010-2013, Death in Early Protestant Tradition, financed by the Norwegian Research Council 2011-2013, Tracing the Jerusalem Code, financed by the Norwegian Research Council 2011-2013, and The Ambiguous Memory of Nordic Protestantism, financed by the Norwegian Research Council 2014-2019. Arne Bugge Amundsen has published extensively both in Norwegian and English. With regard to the conference theme, the following publications in English may be mentioned: Categories of Sacredness in Europe, 1500-1800 (ed.) (IKS Oslo 2003); “Reformed Church Interiors in Southern Norway, 1537-1700”, in: Lars Ivar Hansen, Rognald Heiseldal Bergesen & Ingebjørg Hage (eds.): The Protracted Reformation in Northern Norway. Introductory Studies (Stamsund 2014, Orkana Akademisk); “Religion as an Agent of Change. Concluding Remarks”, in: Per Ingesman (ed.): Religion as an Agent of Change. Crusades – Reformation – Pietism (Leiden 2016, Brill). Bibliography and research profile found here.

Arne Bugge Amundsen will give a keynote lecture on the theme: 19th century religious heritage in the North: Monocultural or multicultural?