Church, State, Religion & Nation

Church, state, religion and nation are all expressions of identity, and sites for consensus and violent dissent. Current debates often deploy history as a resource in their argumentative frameworks. This theme explores these interconnected discourses.

The importance of studying early Christianity within the context of the pagan world, and indeed the contemporary Jewish world is clearly recognised now. Moreover, the study of the modern Church is inextricably linked to broader themes of identity, internationalism and political studies.

The important theme of ecumenism from the origins of Christianity to the modern day allows us to explore crucial and still relevant issues about the nature of religion and its relationship with politics.

The study of Italy as a nation, particularly inspired by the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, remains a fruitful area of research. This nationhood is bound up with images of the Italian past, back to the Roman period, and this symbolism has been hugely significant in shaping modern action, internally and with regard to neighbours around the Mediterranean.

Award-Holders since 2008

Cordelia Warr (Manchester): Representing and performing stigmata in medieval and Renaissance Italy
Joanne Allen (Warwick): Ritual and reform in Renaissance Italy: sacred space and church furniture before the Council of Trent
Joseph Hammond (St Andrews): Art and patronage of the Carmelite order
Catherine Fletcher (Royal Holloway/Birkbeck/Open): Our men in Rome: ambassadors and agents at the papal court, c. 1450–1550
Edward Payne (Courtauld): Violence and corporality in the art of Jusepe de Ribera
Rebecca Gill (Reading): Galeazzo Alessi and the Sacro Monte: architecture and pilgrimage in Cinquecento Italy
Paul Howard (Oxford): ‘Tu sei nimmico/der tale o dder tar re: ffàje la guerra’: Casus Belli — Giuseppe Gioachino waging war between tradition and experimentation
Stephen Cummins (Cambridge): Enmity and peace-making in the kingdom of Naples, c. 1550-1750
Alec Corio (Open): Historical Perceptions of Roman Catholicism and National Identity 1869-1919
Lucy Turner Voakes (EUI, Florence): The Risorgimento and English Liberal culture, 1850–1918
Claudia Baldoli (Newcastle): In search of the white international: the Catholic-Communist movement between the wars
Sofia Serenelli (Reading/UCL): The cult of the Duce and the ‘mountain of Rome’: Terminillo, collective memory and legacies of Fascism, 1934-2012
Emiliano Perra (Bristol): The Holocaust in Italian television
Mattia Toaldo (Roma 3; School of Advanced Studies, University of London): The Libyan-Italian post-colonial relationship under Qadhafi from 1969 to today
John Pollard (Cambridge/Anglia Ruskin): Religion and the Right in Italy
Hannah Malone (Cambridge): Italian Fascism and the ossuaries of the Great War
Lucy Underwood (Durham): ‘Hatred’ or ‘praise’ of the English name? Catholics representing England in Italy, c. 1558-1660
Marcella Pellegrino Sutcliffe (Cambridge): Salvatore Morelli, Liberal Italy and the transnational network of women emancipationists
Tom True: Power and place: the Marchigian cardinals of Sixtus V

Selected Publications since 2008

Anne ALWIS (Rome Scholar 2001–2) with Ellen Swift: The role of late antique art in early Christian worship: a reconsideration of the iconography of the ‘starry sky’ in the ‘Mausoleum’ of Galla Placidia. Papers of the British School at Rome 78 (2010): 193–218.
Matthew DAL SANTO (Rome Award 2007–8) Debating the Saints’ Cults in the Age of Gregory the Great (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Simon MARTIN (Rome Fellow 2006–7) Sport Italia: the Italian Love Affair with Sport (I.B. Tauris, 2011).

Related Events since 2010

Friday 6 December 2013

Santa Maria Antiqua Conference

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Book launch: Old Saint Peter’s, Rome

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Annual conference of the Unione Internazionale degli Istituti di Archeologia Storia e Storia dell’Arte in Roma – with a lecture by Richard Hodges (AUR)

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Religion and the Right in Italy

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Galeazzo Alessi and the Sacro Monte di Varallo: reconstructing Jerusalem during the Counter Reformation

Wednesday 29 May 2013

To the lands of the Sultan of Babylon: The papacy and trade with Muslims during the later Middle Ages

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Function, message or status symbol? The mixed reasons behind the form of Early Christian baptisteries

Tuesday 19 March 2013

The Mediterranean City: Religion

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Saints and Salvation: Gold-glass, Sarcophagi and Inscribed Memorials from the Catacombs of Rome

Thursday 21 February 2013

Cultural Memory and the Resources of the Past in the Early Middle Ages

Wednesday 13 February 2013

The Book of Common Prayer and Modern Memory

Tuesday 4 December 2012

In Search of the White International: Catholic-Communism Between the Wars

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Archaeology of Lived Religion in Antiquity

Friday 19 October 2012

Roman Modernities

Thursday 20 September 2012

The Antonine Constitution After 1800 Years

Wednesday 30 May 2012


Italy and Libya under Qadhafi and beyond

Friday 25 May 2012


“Tripolini” in Italia. Percorsi di ricerca tra storia, memorie e narrazioni di ebrei della Libia

Wednesday 29 February 2012

Planning for pilgrims: St Andrews as the Second Rome

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Keynote Lecture

Paradisiacal sarcophagi

Tuesday 14 February 2012


Early “Christian” Epigraphy and Iconography: A new approach to Dölger’s classical project

Thursday 15 December 2011


Roma fuori Roma: Lo Stato Pontificio e le esportazioni di opera d’arte tra il 1775 e il 1870

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Book Presentation

Sport Italia. The Italian Love Affair with Sport

Wednesday 8 June 2011


Alternative stigmatics

Wednesday 18 May 2011


Episcopal sponsorship and the churches of Rome in late antiquity

Friday 13 May 2011


The end of the Leviathan and the rise of the Big Society?

Friday 15 April 2011


The Risorgimento in Transnational Perspective

Thursday 24 March 2011


Towards a History of Fascist Entanglement

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Richard Bosworth: Mussolini as Sun God:an irradiating Duce?

Wednesday 23 February 2011

History lecture

Dolger, Ichthys e l’Ancora

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Book presentation

La palestra del littorio

Wednesday 17 March 2010


Old St Peters


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