Ex Voto: Participation and Patronage in Medieval Europe (5:00 pm - 7:30 pm)




5th Floor Classroom


Ittai Weinryb

An ex voto is a votive offering to a saint or deity. It is given as a token of gratitude for a miracle performed and in some cases it is offered as a vow. The ex voto is the most basic and fundamental form of material exchange between humans and deities. In its essence the ex voto is a material object that celebrates an immaterial event, a physical object that commemorates or expects supernatural activity. In a sense, ex voto is the basic form which the religious devotee participate in the religious ritual. This seminar is set to explore the relationship between humans and deities in medieval Europe through the basic act of material exchange. Issues relating to medieval religious patronage, participation of donors and devotees will be considered as the basis for the seminar, as well as theories from fields of religion studies, economy, and anthropology, which will serve to examine and further our understanding of the unique phenomenon of the ex voto. 3 credits. satisfies pre-1800 requirement