PhD defence: Marianne Ritsema van Eck

26 June 2017

Marianne Ritsema van Eck, ASH PhD candidate, will defend her dissertation entitled 'Custodians of Sacres Space. Constructing the Franciscan Holy Land Through texts and sacri monti (ca. 1480-1650)' supervised by prof. dr. Guy Geltner and dr. Michele Campopiano.


This dissertation investigates the construction of the Franciscan Holy Land as an ideological construct during the late medieval and early modern period. Based on an extensive corpus of texts, defined as Franciscan Holy Land writing, and a (re-)consideration of the sacri monti of Varallo and La Verna in Italy, this dissertation outlines the development of an increasingly territorial attitude on the part of the Franciscans of the custodia Terrae Sanctae, during the period under investigation. One of the main conclusions of this dissertation is that the sacro monte and translated Franciscan Jerusalem of Varallo, founded by friar Bernardino Caimi in 1491, is not the first sanctuary of its kind. Rather, this dissertation demonstrates that the pre-existing the sacro monte of La Verna in Tuscany is vital for understanding the phenomenon of the sacro monte, its Franciscan origins and Jerusalemite connotations. This dissertation also includes an in-depth source critique and analysis of friar Paul Walther von Guglingen’s Treatise on the Holy Land. It demonstrates that from this, and other, late medieval specimens onwards, a heterogeneous but recognisably Franciscan literature of appropriation developed. This literature reinterprets the past in order buttress the position of the Franciscans and is primarily directed at other Christians, such as Greeks, Capuchins, and Jesuits, featuring prominent examples such as friar Francesco Quaresmio’s monumental Terrae Sanctae Elucidatio (1639). Building on Franciscan order memories and ideologies, the friars sought to turn the Holy Land into a Franciscan territory, as well as transport Jerusalem to Italy and make it Franciscan.

Venue: Aula - Lutherse Kerk

Published by  ACUH