CRS Workshop: From Humanities to Social Sciences: Visionary Experience in Cross-Disciplinary Perspective, 3-5 July 2017

From Humanities to Social Sciences:  Visionary Experience in Cross-Disciplinary Perspective Workshop

3-5 July 2017

Nádor u. 15, Room 101

Organised by: 

Gábor Klaniczay (CEU)
Vlad Naumescu (CEU)
Matthias Riedl (CEU)
Carsten Wilke (CEU)
William A. Christian Jr. (Las Palmas)

About the workshop: The workshop is a joint enterprise of three research groups. Scholars from the Departments of History, Medieval Studies, Sociology and Anthropology at the Central European University  (CEU) engage here in discussion with researchers of the “Vision Thing” group that grew out from the 2007-2008 Summer Institute of CASBS Stanford and Collegium Budapest, directed by William A. Christian Jr. and Gábor Klaniczay, and the ERC funded “East-West research group on ethnology of religion” originally at the University of Pécs and currently at the Institute of Ethnology of the Research Center for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences  (MTA BKK), directed by Éva Pócs. The CEU Humanities Initiative is funding this discussion on the state of scholarship, the theoretical aspects and new perspectives on the research on visions. The speakers of the workshop participate, on Sunday, July 2, at a joint excursion to Mátraverebély, a Marian cult-site in north-eastern Hungary, and to the adjacent holy well at Mátraszentimre – Fallóskút, which used to be the apparition site of a Hungarian seer Klára Csépe.

Supported by: 
The Central European University 
Humanities Initiative 


Monday, 3 July

10:00  / Opening Remarks

  • William A. Christian Jr. (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
  • Gábor Klaniczay  (CEU)

10:30 – 11:30 / Session 1. How do I know it is true? Experience, Evidence and the Senses  

Introduced and moderated by: Gábor Klaniczay  (CEU)

  • What do the seers see?
    Éva Pócs (MTA BKK)

  • Evidentiality in the messages of Jesus Christ in the discourses of a South Central Hungarian seer
    Bea Vidacs (MTA BKK)

11:30 – 13:30 / Session 1. (Part two)

Moderated by: Gábor Klaniczay (CEU)

  • Dreams versus phantasia: Deceptive dreams as catalyst for miracle
    Ildikó Csepregi (CEU)
  • Encountering the Dead: Continuing Bonds in Bereavement
    Sherry Smith  (McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario)


14:30 – 16:00 / Session 2. Why visions prevail or fail? Representation, Cultivation, Transmission

Introduced and moderated by Vlad Naumescu (CEU)

  • Remembering, retelling, representing the hierophany, the stigmatic vision
    Gábor Klaniczay  (CEU)
  • Medieval Greek visions and the Fall of Constantinople
    András Kraft (CEU)

Tuesday, 4 July

9:30 – 11:00 / Session 3. To trust or not to trust? Contestation, Charisma, authentication

Introduced and moderated by William A. Christian Jr. (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)

  • Dream, Visions, and Charismatic Authority in the Political Thought of Thomas Müntzer
    Matthias Riedl (CEU)
  • Seeing saints, reinforcing nation: agency through vision-dreams in Macedonia at the turn of the 20th century
    Galia Valtchinova (University of Toulouse)                              
  • God's Messenger: Petrache Lupu and Religious Politics in Greater Romania 
    Constantin Iordachi (CEU)

11:30 – 13:00  / Session 3. (part two)

Moderated by William A. Christian Jr. (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)

  • "Invincible Mary" - the politics of visions on the example of an 18th century Marian shrine (Gyűd, South West Hungary)
    Judit Kis-Halas (MTA BKK)

  • Visions, miracles and miracle narratives in Seuca'
    Eszter Győrfy(University of Cluj/Kolozsvár)                   
  • Visions of St Mary in Bosnia and Herzegovina - between faith and national identity
    Mirjam Mencej (University of Ljubljana)

14:30 – 16:00 / Session 3. (part three)

Moderated by William A. Christian Jr. (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)

  • The Lipa apparitions – the risk of recognition
    Deirdre de la Cruz (University of Michigan)
  • Apparitions of the Virgin Mary as decision-events
    Agnieszka Halemba (University of Warsaw)    

Wednesday, 5 July

9:30 – 11:00 / Session 4. From visions where does one go?

Introduced and moderated by Galia Valtchinova (University of Toulouse) 

  • History, Holiness, and Lived Religion in the Early Modern Spain
    Katrina Olds (San Francisco University)

  • Fictional visions in early modern Spanish and Sephardi literature: Towards an ecstatic model of knowledge
    Carsten L. Wilke (CEU)
  • The iconographic invention of the dream in the representation of the Tree of Jesse
    Francesca Braida (EPHE)

11:30 – 13:00  / Session 4. (part two)

Moderated by Galia Valtchinova (University of Toulouse) 

  • Things to see: Silent movies, outdoor theatre, airplanes, words in the sky, caricatures, gymnastics and postcards and the visions of Jeanne d'Arc at Alzonne (Aude) in 1913
    William A. Christian Jr. (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)

  • Doubting  heaven – Local reflections on the afterlife    
    Ágnes Hesz (University of Pécs)
  • Pedagogies of prayer in Eastern Christianity


For more information, please contact the Center for Religious Studies at