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International Conference " The Medieval Eschatology"

Eschatology is one of the central components of medieval Christian culture. The end of the world, the Last Judgment, salvation, Messianism, the Antichrist, the Apocalypticism and millenarianism are inescapable elements in what we may generally describe as "Medieval eschatology". In this universe, the coming of the Antichrist antedated the Last Judgment and the end of the world. This favoured the appearance of prophecies and contributed to the shaping of a present "on standby" on the basis of a future of salvation or damnation with the Last Judgment on the horizon. This medieval eschatological scenario can be found across events, authors, texts, social movements or cultural and artistic representations.

A far as events are concerned, the early medieval fears crystallized in the "fear of the year 1000", the expectations of the end of the world during the 11th century, the "Investiture Controversy", the catastrophes associated sometimes to the Antichrist of the last emperor, the Great Schism of 1378, not to mention many other events of different nature that we can identify in a variety of settings of the Medieval Western world and which have been interpreted in eschatological terms.

In other sense, eschatological mechanisms can also be found in medieval texts, authors and thinkers. This end-of-the-world traces can be identified in Beatus of Liébana and the Asturian Chronica Prophetica but also in De Liutprand, Raoul Glaber, Adémar de Chabannes or Helgaud. After the 12th century, the speculations on the future grew more developed. Particular mention deserve Gerhoh de Reichersberg, Hildegarda de Bingen and, most particularly, Joachim of Fiore, who in the 13th century, had a lot of influence in the Franciscan order in such authors as Pedro Olivi, Ubertino of Casale, Ramón Llull, Arnaldus de Vilanova or Jean de Roquetaillade. Later, they would be joined by such figures as Vicente Ferrer, Mamfred de Verceil or Bernardino de Siena, to cite but a few. There are even some authors and texts that include eschatological principles without this being their main purpose. Such is the case of some Chronicles, Histories, Annals and other text types (treaties, mirrors for princes, travel books, etc.).

As to social movements, from the 13th century, fundamentally, a number of heretic agitation and revolts where eschatological ideas emerge have been identified. These include, for instance, the apostolici, the Beguines and Beghards, or the Hussites, among others. Lastly, the representation of eschatological images in the Beati or in illuminated texts and the representation of the Last Judgments in architecture are just the artistic manifestation of the problem that is the subject of study of this Conference.

It is therefore the intention of the International Conference "The Medieval Eschatology" to provide a venue for reflecting on these as well as …READ MORE

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Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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