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Lived Religion and the Changing Meaning(s) of Disability from the Late Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution

Tampere University
Area of focusHealth, Society

The project analyses the way religious life and religious understanding influenced the lived experience and everyday life of people with physical and mental disabilities in Europe from the Late Middle Ages to the industrial revolution.

By analysing a large set of religious and secular archival material from the period of ca. 1450-1850, the project will reveal the continuities and changes in the ways bodies and minds that were deemed different were viewed, and the role faith played in this. This will also increase undrestanding and help untangling the processes that have led to the marginalised position of disabled people in the modern, western world.

The project is funded by the Academy of Finland.

Our research centre

What can we know about the past experiences, and how do we transfer them into accurate knowledge and historically informed decisions? The Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences looks for answers to these fundamental questions by rethinking historical experiences, historical explanations and historical knowledge, and their place in the current world.