Dr. Lilian Regina Diniz Goncalves
October 2021 - November 2021
Research Project: Cultural and religious hybridity in Galicia from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages: religious crafting and popular piety in the conversion period
The region of Galicia, northwestern Spain, during the period of Christianisation from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages, is the focus point of my research project. Despite the official imposition of Christianity, the sources demonstrate that local communities were active in shaping and crafting their own religious interpretations based on local traditions and necessities. Rooted in the process of cultural transfer and religious hybridity, I aim to identify the process that defines the final shape that religious practices take, considering all the agents involved in this process of transmission and exchange, such as the cultural and historical background, the characteristics of the process of Christianisation, the agents promoting the diffusion of the faith and the dynamics of power that somehow influenced the religious evolution. Thus, my project takes into consideration that in the case of religious conversion, and here specifically Christianisation in Galicia, the elements involved in the process of hybridisation, i.e. Christianity and other beliefs and practices, are themselves not static notions. There were several forms of paganism as well as of Christianity, and the fusion between them was a fluid process.
At RomanIslam Center I will investigate the phenomenon of “family monasteries” in seventh century Galicia and how this religious experience can be considered as an example of popular agency and religious crafting.
Dr. Lilian Regina Goncalves Diniz is a Brazilian Medievalist currently working at the Freie Universität of Berlin as a post-doc PRIME fellow (DAAD). She earned her PhD at the Universities of Padua (Italy) and Vienna (Austria). Her research interests are religious conversion and popular culture from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages, and she recently started questioning the different meanings of the concept of apostasy in Early Medieval Iberia. With a background in archaeology, she is also interested in material culture and how to relate its testimony with written sources. She has been a visiting researcher at the centre ANHIMA – Anthropologie et histoire des mondes antiques at the EHESS in Paris, the OEAW - Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She was recently awarded a research residence at the Madrid Institute for Advanced Study, where she will start researching her new project about apostasy in Visigothic Spain.
Diniz, Lilian R. G. (2017), “Diffusione del cristianesimo e fenomeni di ibridazione culturale dalla tarda antichità al medioevo in Europa Occidentale”, Adamantius. Annuario di Letteratura Cristiana Antica e di Studi Giudeoellenistici 23, 215-225.
Diniz, Lilian R. G. (2016), “Paganism and traditional practices in the sermons of Caesarius of Arles”, Studia Patristica 74, 393-400.