Sensing the Sacred: Religion and the Senses, 1300-1800

June 21, 2013 - June 22, 2013
University of York, UK

United Kingdom

View the Call For Papers


Nicky Hallett
University of Sheffield
Matthew Milner
McGill University
Chris Woolgar
University of Southampton


Robin Macdonald
University of York, UK
Emilie Murphy
University of York, UK
Elizabeth Swann
University of York, UK

Topic areas

Talks at this conference

Add a talk


Religion has always been characterised as much by embodied experience as by abstract theological dispute. From the sounds of the adhān (the Islamic call to prayer), to the smell of incense in the HinduPūjā (a ritual offering to the deities), the visual emblem of the cross in the Christian tradition, and the ascetic practices of Theravada Buddhism, sensation is integral to a range of devotional practices. At the same time, the history of many faiths is characterised by an intense suspicion of the senses and the pleasures they offer.

This international, interdisciplinary conference, to be held at the University of York from 21 to 22 June 2013, will bring together scholars working on the role played by the senses in the experience and expression of religion and faith in the pre-modern world. The burgeoning field of sensory history offers a fertile ground for reconsideration of religious studies across disciplinary boundaries. 

Contact: conference organisers Robin Macdonald, Emilie Murphy, and Elizabeth Swann at [email protected].

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




Who is attending?

No one has said they will attend yet.

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.