Church, space and memory. Changes in physical church space and funerary practices in changing worldview

Project description

The objective of the “Church, space and memory” -project is to find out how the changes in the people’s worldviews manifested in churches and funerary practices in medieval and early modern northern Finland. Our aim is to produce novel understanding about the shared memories and memory practices connected to the sacred spaces of the past. The material consists of the churches’ material culture, property, paintings and buildings, as well as archives and the burials on the churchyards but also inside the churches. Such material preserves memory data, that has been under constant change over the centuries. Memory can be perceived as personal or social memory. Within this project the material culture and burials are mainly observed via social memory, through which people during different periods have formed their perceptions about the past, present, and future as well as the surrounding reality. Methods of archaeology, anthropological archaeology, medicine and natural sciences will be used during the project. The researchers working in the project are archaeologists, bioarchaeologists, historians, medical researchers, and a theologian.

Project coordinator

University of Oulu