Fellows

Daria Dubovka

Russia – October 2018

Rediscovering Eastern Christian Monastic Mysticism by Today's Nuns and Monks in Italy and Russia

The contemporary process of secularization and economic development challenges traditional forms of monastic life. Monastic communities are seeking for the new ways of how to be ascetics and what spiritual practices lead a person to God. During this searching, monks and nuns turn to other religious tradition. Among Eastern Orthodox practices, hesychasm became extremely popular. The main idea of this tradition is that a person can reach deification through unceasing reiteration of the Jesus Prayer: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner’. In my research, I investigate reasons for popularity of hesychasm: its adjustment to the economic situation of today’s monasteries and high compatibility with common New Age discourse about divine energies.

Shkelzen Hasanaj

Albania – June/December 2018

Nuovi razzismi e radicalizzazione dell’intolleranza nella Regione Toscana: uso e abuso dei simboli religiosi

Nell’ambito della riflessione sul tema dei nuovi razzismi ed in particolare sul radicamento dei fenomeni di intolleranza in Toscana, lo studio si propone di analizzare da un lato l’utilizzo dei simboli religiosi negli spazi pubblici, dall’altro come questo possa contribuire alla diffusione di forme di xenofobia, con specifico riferimento alla crescita progressiva dei movimenti con connotazione razzista.
La ricerca punta a valutare la possibilità dell’implementazione di percorsi di alfabetizzazione religiosa nelle scuole come risposta istituzionale ai nuovi razzismi. L’obbiettivo è, dunque, quello di riflettere sullo stato attuale delle politiche promosse nelle scuole della Regione.
La ricostruzione e il confronto tra varie esperienze scolastiche consentirà di valutare le problematiche, i fenomeni di disagio e di marginalizzazione che eventualmente i membri delle comunità islamiche si trovano a dovere affrontare, con particolare riferimento ad alcuni usi e consuetudini religiosi, specie riguardo alla esposizione dei simboli di appartenenza nei luoghi pubblici. 

Sam Kennerley

United Kingdom – June 2018

Latini, Greci e Cristiani d'Oriente nella corrispondenza di Marcello II Cervini

Il mio progetto di ricerca esamina la corrispondenza di Marcello II Cervini (1501-1555), gran parte della quale è conservata nell’Archivio di Stato di Firenze. Questi scambi epistolari sono noti agli studiosi poiché risorsa di inestimabile valore per la storia del Concilio di Trento e dell’Inquisizione. Ad ogni modo, il mio studio si propone di analizzare questo corpus di lettere in toto, usandolo come fonte per la storia di Greci e Cristiani d’Oriente nell’Italia della prima età moderna. Pertanto mi auguro di riuscire a rendere chiare tanto le prospettive ortodosse quanto quelle di Cattolici e Protestanti sulla Riforma.

Mingguang Xie

China – May 2018

Le lingue delle missioni: i Gesuiti e la Cina dopo Matteo Ricci, XVI-XVII secolo

Il mio progetto di ricerca intende proseguire nello scavo archivistico dei rapporti tra i missionari occidentali, in particolare i gesuiti, e il mondo cinese degli ultimi decenni della dinastia Ming. Durante il lavoro di dottorato mi sono occupato di un testo scritto in Cina nel 1626 da Nicolas Trigault, gesuita fiammingo: lo Xi Ru Er Mu Zi, “una guida per gli occhi e gli orecchi dei letterati occidentali”, composto per aiutare l’apprendimento della lingua cinese mediante la latinizzazione dei suoi caratteri. Lavorando presso gli archivi e le biblioteche fiorentini e romani, è mia intenzione approfondire le modalità di conoscenza e di comprensione della cultura cinese da parte degli occidentali che vi entrarono in contatto nel corso dell’età moderna.

Anna Clot-Garrell

Spain – February 2018

Imagining religious diversity in contemporary Europe. The case of multi-faith spaces.

During my postdoctoral research stay at the Instituto Sangalli in Florence, I will develop my current research on issues related to materiality and spatiality in relation to religion. Particularly, my study on the symbolic dimension of the politics of religious diversity through the case of multi-faith spaces in contemporary Europe. I will depart from my previous research on multi-faith spaces in Spain and I will use the Young Scholars Fellowship to start the development of a theoretical framework as well as historically and empirically explore the existence of these spaces in Italy in order to build a broad and future cross-national and cross-institutional comparative project.

Babere Kerata Chacha

Kenya – January 2018

Religions, ethnic groups and political mobilization in Kenya, 1990-2017

Over the last decade or so, one event has surprised observers of Kenyan politics-the increased participation of the clergy in political sphere and their role in ethnic and electoral conflicts. This development presents an intriguing puzzle in the nature and dynamics of religion in Kenya. One might well say that the traditional public spaces are irreversibly shrinking and collapsing. Even more so, one might argue that the loss of traditional ‘form’ secular engagement with the public or ways of spatial experience would definitely affect the role of traditional public space in building up a civic identity, and even destroy the very sense of ‘traditional Christianity. Consequently, cultural factors such as ethnicity and religion have become more important in people’s search for fundamentals on which to build their hopes for the future. The paper examines both the sacred and secular spaces as sites of conflict: conflicting memories, conflicting values, conflicting interests, conflicting narratives of place and so on. Using historical approach, I examine strategies of creating secular and public spaces in contemporary Kenya and conclude that ethnicity is propelled in Africa through tensions that are continuously created between political and religious or sacred spaces.

Marianne Ritsema Van Eck

Netherlands – September 2017

The Sacro Monte at San Vivaldo and the Franciscan Observant movement

My research project, made possible by the Sangalli Institute, focuses on the Franciscan sacro monte or ‘new Jerusalem’ at San Vivaldo near Florence, a late medieval sanctuary that consists of little chapels that together portray the geography of the Holy City. This project approaches the sanctuary at San Vivaldo as a quintessentially Franciscan space, and an Observant hermitage. Informed by an in-depth investigation of the literatures and ideologies of the Franciscan Observant movement, I seek to integrate the too little studied sacro monte of San Vivaldo into the academic discourse on the Italian sacri monti, the Franciscan Observance movement, as well as into broader dialogues of the history of religion. Ultimately, this work contributes re-chart of the history of the earliest sacri monti as a particularly Observant Franciscan phenomenon, also with reference to the other two Franciscan sacri monti at La Verna (Tuscany) and Varallo (Piedmont).

Giuseppe Emiliano Bonura

Italy – May 2016/February 2017

A critical edition of the letters exchanged between Giovanni Battista Montini and Giorgio La Pira.

The critical publication of the texts is based on the study of those letters which are to be found in the three archives opened today: Fondazione Giorgio La Pira archive, the Historical Archives in Milan and Paolo VI Institute of Concesio (Brescia). This research has developed thanks to the previous study of the material available. The way of conservation of this letter exchange in the aforementioned archives has been reconstructed, the classification method has been verified, the materials from Florence, Milan and Concesio have been compared and finally, a gap of correspondence between the years 1944 and 1950 has been suggested.
This edition presents the last version of the texts available, namely the ones which were actually read by the two protagonists of the correspondence.

Maria Chiara Rioli

Italy – May 2016/February 2017

Critical edition of the correspondence between Giovanni Battista Montini and Giorgio La Pira 1944-1963

I worked at the critical historical edition of the correspondence between Giovanni Battista Montini and Giorgio La Pira, from the Fourties to the election of Montini as Paul VI in June 1963. The system of notes, based on various archives, correspondences and printed sources, aims at helping the reader toward the comprehensive understanding of the political, ecclesiastical social and personal issues behind every letter, shedding light on the dialogue of two among the most prominent figures of the 20th century in Italy.

Claudio Mancuso

Italy – July/December 2015

The Via Crucis in Italian society. Politics, faith and propaganda during the First World War

The research project was aimed at the reconstruction of the role and use of the “Via Crucis” in Italian society during the First World War. The target of the study was to highlight the dual role of a devotional practice so ingrained in the social body and as a religious identification factor, whether as a propaganda tool. In particular, the analysis of the role of the “Via Crucis” in the Italy of the Great War was placed inside three cultural and broader politics frames: first, the impact of the devotional practices in the war societies (both on the home front, both the trenches and on the battlefields); secondly the Church’s role in the mobilization and propaganda in support of the war effort; finally, the use of the sacred and the supernatural in the representation of the conflict. Even if it could seem a marginal field research into the economy of an event so vast and complex, such as the Great War, the study revealed unexpected connections, and showed how the study of cultural and symbolic issues represent a crucial new frontier in the study of the first World war.

Maria Chiara Succurro

Italy – July/September 2015

Franciscan Alchemy and Science in the XIIIth century. A case-study

The research was focused on an unpublished alchemical encyclopaedia, compiled around the late XIIIth century, which is transmitted by a group of later manuscripts and presents great problems regarding the dating, structure, and authorship. The aim was to study the treatise with a thorough methodology, from the textual and philological point of view, all aspects which have been eluded by previous studies.
The outcome of the research is currently under peer-review.

Laura Fenelli

Italy – September 2014/February 2015

The devotional topography of a miraculous image in the post-Tridentine atlas: the icon of St. Dominic of Soriano

The image of St. Dominic of Soriano is an acheropoieta portrait of the founder of the Dominican order which arrived at the Calabrese convent of Soriano (Vibo Valentia) on the night of 5 September 1530, miraculously transported there by the Virgin Mary, Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Mary Magdalene. Alongside with an analysis of the historical and hagiographical sources concerning the history of the image and the miracles performed by the image itself the research aimed to focus on problems connected to the numerous copies of the image, diffused in almost all Dominican churches from the second half of the seventeenth century. The study of how the miraculous cult spread from southern Italy to the Americas and Far East raises various methodological and critical issues on the role of the miraculous icons of the saints and their copies in the Counter Reformation Age, on the relationship between images and relics, on the use of a cult image “colonize” the believers’ imaginary.

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