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|Church History|

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Author: Dr. Giulia Marotta

This is the third and final blogpost in a series from Giulia, one of our first-ever WiRe fellows whose research focuses, among other things, on the contemporary history of Catholicism in Europe. We are thrilled to have her back as a guest on the blog, this time introducing by way of creative writing her newest research project on the conceptual history of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Giulia would like to thank the WWU for funding the preparatory stages of the project through the Post-doc Program and Erasmus+, and Professor Dr. Olaf Blaschke, apl. Professor Dr. Klaus Große Kracht, and Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Hubert Wolf for their invaluable input and support. The story, all names, and characters portrayed in this blogpost are fictitious.

The story of a research project is always the story of a journey. A journey made of planning, researching, drafting, revising, updating… but also sharing, listening, and debating; a journey through readings and encounters, from the library desk to the coffee table, from the bar counter to the lecture podium, and of course also from blogs and forums to specialized journals. The story of my project unfolded as I traveled from my home laptop to a restaurant’s dining table.

Author: Dr. Giulia Marotta

This is the second blogpost in a series from Giulia, one of our first-ever WiRe fellows whose research focuses, among other things, on the contemporary history of Catholicism in Europe. We are thrilled to have her back as a guest on the blog, this time introducing by way of creative writing her newest research project on the conceptual history of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Giulia would like to thank the WWU for funding the preparatory stages of the project through the Post-doc Program and Erasmus+, and Professor Dr. Olaf Blaschke, apl. Professor Dr. Klaus Große Kracht, and Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Hubert Wolf for their invaluable input and support. The story, all names, and characters portrayed in this blogpost are fictitious.

Author: Dr. Giulia Marotta

This blogpost comes to us from one of our first WiRe fellows, Giulia, who came to Münster in 2018 to develop a project on Catholic female historiography. Now, almost 3 years later, she reflects fondly on her time in the city and at the WWU: „Both the city and the university life were very inspiring for my research, and the WiRe staff went out of their way to make me feel welcome and create the best possible environment to achieve my professional goals. They did it so well that I decided to come back to the University of Münster in 2020 as a post-doc 😉 And of course, I couldn’t help getting involved in the WiRe community again“. 

And we are so happy that she is back as a contributor to the blog! Giulia tells us, „With this series I would like to offer readers of every level and background a non-intimidating and easy-to-follow resource to sneak a peek into my new research project, which deals with the conceptual history of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The story, all names, and characters portrayed in this blogpost are fictitious. I wholeheartedly thank the WWU for funding the preparatory stages of the project through the Post-doc Program and Erasmus+, and Professor Dr. Olaf Blaschke, apl. Professor Dr. Klaus Große Kracht, and Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Hubert Wolf for their invaluable input and support. And a huge THANKS to the WiRe Programme for hosting me on their wonderful Blog :-)“

With that, please enjoy this first instalment of a three-part series, guiding us by way of creative writing through a historical past.

“Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future and time future contained in time past.”

T. S. Eliot

Coming back home…

In my previous posts, I’ve shared with you a travel story, a story about two friends, Alex and I, who left the (relative) comfort of a couch on a sweaty summer night to explore the refreshing land of historiography and get to know the historians who inhabit it.

On our journey of thought we have learned that historiography is the history of history: It studies how the work of historians changes throughout the centuries. But to what purpose? Well, in our imaginary journey we explored the idea that the work of historians is most useful to mankind when it’s not focused on giving answers, but rather questioning the past, the present, the future …

Now we were ready to return home. Our fantasy journey was coming to an end. But the very thought of going back home stirred us to move forward with our conversation. In fact, one step was still missing to complete our itinerary. We knew what home was for us: London, the torrid and lazy summer, and the Mexican takeaway down the street luring us in with the promise of excellent guac and salsa to accompany our drinks. But we still needed to answer a key, basic question. What was home for a historian? We resumed our walk pondering this question and talking it over until we finally reached home.

“You climb to reach the summit, but once there, discover that all roads lead down.” –

Stanislaw Lem

When Historians Go on a Camping Trip …

If you’ve read my previous blogpost, you’ll know that my friend Alex and I embarked on a journey to the mysterious land of historiography, inhabited by an odd tribe called ‘Historians’. As we wandered through hills and forests, we came upon a cozy valley, with numerous streamlets littering its sides and bottom, a refreshing sight for both body and mind. It was a wonderland of intricate bush and funnily shaped rocks, hosting a tremendous variety of shapes and colors in a relatively small space. Of course we decided to camp out there. Alex quickly set up tent and fire, while I, being the expert guide of this expedition, took up an essential task: providing good campsite entertainment. As a historian, what else could I do if not telling a story?

“The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands.”

Sir Richard Francis Burton

Today we start with a new feature: We don’t just want to explore interesting places in the real world of Münster with our Fellows. Rather, we also want to immerse into the exciting research worlds of our Fellows. We start with Giulia’s world: Curtain up for Giulia’s journey into the unknown lands of historiograpy:

During a Humid Summer Night in London …

A few months ago, during a hot and humid summer night in London, my old friend Alex read for the first time an academic paper I wrote. He is a researcher too and, although history is not his field, he was able to understand and relate to most of my text and argument. But he got literally startled when he came to this line: “(This study) will deepen our understanding of the relationship between Christianity and modern historical consciousness from the perspective of its historiographical explanation.” Yeah, I know … The whole thing sounds like a lot of blah, blah, blah … But the real shock, at least to my friend Alex, was this ‘historiographical’ thing.

“In the series “33 questions” we introduce, in no particular order, our WiRe Fellows who are currently working on a research project here at the University of Münster. Why 33? Well, if we think of the rush hour of life, it is kind of the age that lies in its middle. And we also like the number😉.

In our second episode we are speaking with Giulia, church historian and passionate researcher of the role of Catholic women in historiography.

We are back from our Christmas break and start the year with an excursion: In our feature „Exploring Münster with our Fellows“, we take you to unusual, bizarre, beautiful and unique places and institutions in Münster that have something to do with the research of our Fellows. Since Giulia’s research field is church history and the role of Catholic women in historiography, we thought: a visit to the (first female!) tower keeper of Münster („Türmerin von Münster“) is exactly the right thing. The tower keeper of Münster? Huh? Yes, Münster still has a tower keeper!