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IEHN Network Meeting - Kurt Jensen - 12 April 2016

IEHN Meetings

12th April, 2016, Trinity College Dublin

The 27th Public Lecture & Meeting of the Irish Environmental History Network featured a talk by Professor Kurt Villads Jensen of Stockholm University, entitled "Changing Nature in the Baltic Crusades in the Middle Ages". Prof. Jensen is an innovative medievalist who has conducted comparative research in the Crusading worlds of Scandinavia and Portugal and has more recently turned his attention to the environmental aspects of the Crusades. A brief abstract of his talk is available below.

Crusading brought pagan land under Christian control and changed it fundamentally. New agricultural organization and technology was introduced, maybe new crops, but first of all, nature as a concept was reformulated and given a new orientation. Pagan land became defined as desolate and barren, Christian land as cultivated and fertile. The perception of the surrounding physical world through the senses was deliberately changed by introducing new visual expressions and symbols, new colours, new sounds, and a new understanding of time. If the local population could not be persuaded or forced to abandon all the traditional connections to nature, these were incorporated into Christianity and pacified - as when crossed systematically were cut into old pagan sacred oak trees to baptise the trees.

The lecture took place on Tuesday, 12 April, 2016, in the TRISS Seminar Room, Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin, and was Chaired by Dr. Frank Ludlow. See here for more information on Prof. Jensen.


Last updated 13 September 2017 History (Email).