TitleKeynote Lecture 2017: The Other Part of the World for Late Medieval Latin Christendom (Language: English)
Date/TimeMonday 3 July 2017: 13.00-14.00
SpeakerFelicitas Schmieder, Historisches Institut, FernUniversität in Hagen
IntroductionHans-Werner Goetz, Fachbereich Geschichte, Universität Hamburg
AbstractThe final goal of history for medieval Christians was a completely Christian world and Christians had the moral obligation to actively achieve this goal. Consequently, the basic structure of the Latin Christian world view was dichotomic: Christians and non-Christians, we and all sorts of other peoples, Latin Christian homeland and the rest of the earth. During the history of the high and later Middle Ages, the world grew bigger from the point of view of the Latin Christians and the reaching of the goal grew more distant. The experiences connected to this development and the actions demanded by it made constant re-calibrations necessary of who and what the other was, how the other could be defined, explained, and dealt with, in what way the other could relate to the 'we', and finally, what the 'we' was. While this is an interesting and multifaceted process in itself, it is also deeply related to present questions of identity in Europe, to the very essence of the question how 'Europe' could be defined and who 'the other' is as opposed to present day Europeans. Both aspects can hardly be separated by historians who work conscious of their own cultural dependency, and both aspects will consequently be addressed in the lecture.

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