Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages

Overview

The Oxford Experience is a residential summer programme providing one-week courses in a variety of subjects aimed at non-specialists. It offers a choice of seminars each week over a period of six weeks.

What motivated thousands to take to the harsh road of pilgrimage every year throughout the Middle Ages?  This course will trace the history of Christian pilgrimage, from its origins in the fourth century to its virtual demise in the sixteenth.

Among topics to be examined will be the nature of relics and sanctity, the major pilgrimage centres of Jerusalem, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela, the geography, landscape, archaeology and architecture of shrines. The politics and economics of pilgrimage will also be discussed along with the reasons why pilgrimage turned into crusade, and how medieval pilgrimage came to an abrupt end, at least in Northern Europe. There will be a field trip to Winchester. 

Programme details

Seminars meet each weekday morning, 09.15-10.45 and 11.15-12.45, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study or exploring the many beautiful places in and around the city.

Monday
The origins and early development of Christian Pilgrimage

Relics and Reliquaries

Tuesday
Great centres of Pilgrimage, Jerusalem, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela

Wednesday
Local shrines, the economics and politics of Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage into Crusade

Thursday
Excursion to Winchester Cathedral, Hospital of St. Cross, and Dorchester Abbey

Friday
Centres of Pilgrimage in Britain

Dissolution and Reformation, the decline of Pilgrimage in Protestant Europe

 

Field Trip

Destination:   Winchester Cathedral and Dorchester Abbey

Excursion Rating: Moderate
Up to two hours' walk on even ground or up to an hour's walk on rough and/or steep ground or up lots of stairs and steps.

Fees

Description Costs
Programme fee (no accom–incl. field trip, lunch and dinner) £1135.00
Programme fee (with single en-suite accom, field trip and meals) £1630.00
Programme fee (with single standard accom, field trip and meals) £1445.00

Tutor

Mr Trevor Rowley

Tutor

MA, MLitt, FSA,  was formerly Deputy Director in the Department for Continuing Education and before that Director of Archaeology in the department. He is now an Emeritus Fellow of Kellogg College and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He has published many books on landscape history and the Normans, most recently a biography of William the Conqueror’s half-brother, Bishop Odo of Bayeux and an examination of the landscape of the Bayeux Tapestry.    

Assessment methods

There are no assessments for this course.

Application

Online registration closes on Friday, 1 May 2020 but please note that this course may be fully booked very quickly so early registration is recommended.

Accommodation

During your course, you will stay in typical Oxford student accommodation at Christ Church in buildings which range from the 18th to the 20th century.

The fee stated includes a bedroom with private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet). Most are single but a few twins are available*.

There is also a limited number of standard rooms available, which all have their own washbasin and shaver point but shared bath and toilet facilities. Most standard rooms are single but there are a few ‘twin sets’ (two single rooms opening off a sitting room)*.

*If you wish to book a twin en-suite room or a standard twin set room each person should complete an application form and email it to us at oxfordexperience@conted.ox.ac.uk as these rooms cannot be booked online. (Forms may also be posted to us at: The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK)

Please indicate your accommodation preferences (either online or on your application form) together with a note of any mobility problems. Students should note that bedrooms are modestly-furnished, do not have air-conditioning and are arranged on a staircase of four or five floors.

We regret that we are unable to offer you accommodation at Christ Church prior to or following your course. Additionally, family or friends who are not enrolled in the programme cannot be accommodated in college.

Non-residential

If accommodation is unavailable in a particular week, we also offer places on a non-residential basis whereby participants can take classes and have meals at the college, having arranged their own accommodation elsewhere.

If you wish to enrol on a non-residential basis please complete an application form and email it to us at oxfordexperience@conted.ox.ac.uk as this option cannot be booked online. (Forms may also be posted to us at: The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK)