Cross and Culture in Anglo-Saxon England

An Interdisciplinary Conference in Durham, England
August 3-4, 2001
St. John's College, University of Durham

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Karen Jolly, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Catherine Karkov, Miami University, Ohio
Sarah Larratt Keefer, Trent University, Ontario

The Cross in Anglo-Saxon England project invited scholars, students, and teachers to participate in a two-day seminar in Durham, England on Cross and Culture in Anglo-Saxon England. This interdisciplinary seminar, part of a three-year project, was dedicated to Stanford Professor George Hardin Brown in recognition of his outstanding lifetime contributions to the study of Anglo-Saxon culture.

The invited speakers represented different disciplinary perspectives on the cross as a material artifact, as a ritual gesture in performance, and as a concept invoked in theological, poetic, and artistic contexts. In addition to three sessions with scholarly papers, the first day concluded with a session inviting dialogue on questions and themes drawn from the day's papers and posted in advance (these notes will be posted on this website in the near future. The activities on the first day were complemented on the second day with an excursion to the Bewcastle and Ruthwell monuments, with interpretive discussions let by participating scholars.

Durham was an ideal location for this first seminar on the cross because the North embraced it as a cultural and religious symbol so very early in Anglo-Saxon history. It is fitting, therefore, that our inaugural session recognized a scholar of Anglo-Saxon studies, reaching his 70th birthday this year, whose lifework has been on the writings of the North's greatest historian, the Venerable Bede. The papers at Durham were held in celebration of the academic achievements of George Hardin Brown, who was the first speaker in the seminar's opening session. The first volume of the project's proceedings, Cross and Culture in Anglo-Saxon England, will be in his honour. We hope that all of George's colleagues and students, both past and present, join us with their good wishes in our celebration of his accomplishments. pectoral.jpg - 3302 Bytes

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Seminar Participants in front of the Ruthwell Cross, 4 August, 2001

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The Cross and Culture in Anglo-Saxon England Durham 2001 seminar is part of a three-year project, Sancta Crux/Halig Rod: The Cross in Anglo-Saxon England, directed by Catherine Karkov, Sarah Larratt Keefer, and Karen Jolly.