Call for papers: “Heraldry in the Church – The Church in Heraldry”

12th Nordic Heraldic Conference in Roskilde (Denmark) 12-14 May 2023

The rooms of the church have always been filled with symbols. From the simple graffiti of the first Christians to the frescoes of the Middle Ages to today’s church art. The rich imagery in churches is woven into our cultural history.

Heraldry, the use of and the doctrine of coats of arms, arose in the 12th century, and the signal value of the coat of arms quickly proved useful also in church contexts. Heraldic imagery and Christian symbolism have enriched each other for centuries.

Coats of arms in the church room and on church furnishings are important testimonies of persons and families who have had an impact on the church buildings, their use, maintenance and equipment. Coats of arms on tombstones are sources for understanding genealogical relationships over the centuries.

In the same way, the church has found a place in heraldry. Since the birth of heraldry, the Christian cross has been one of the most used emblems, as well as other symbols with reference to Jesus, the Virgin Mary, saints, the biblical world and the history of Christian ideas. Among Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox, special heraldic traditions and characteristics developed.

The idiom of the church and heraldry is a shared heritage and anchors the Nordic region in a wider European and global cultural history.

The 12th Nordic Heraldic Conference in Roskilde 12-14 May 2023 focuses on the use of heraldry in the church and the church in heraldry.

The subject must be understood as broadly as possible and can examine the use of heraldry in the church as an institution, the personal and official bearing of arms by clergy and the symbolic content of coats of arms in ecclesiastical terms, but also the decorative and communicative use of heraldry in the church space.

The organizers of the conference, Dansk Heraldisk Selskab and Societas Heraldica Scandinavica, invite all interested parties to submit proposals for a contribution to the conference. Submit a short abstract and title of the lecture as well as a short CV to the email address no later than 1 December 2022.

More information about the conference can be found here.  The languages of the conference will be the Nordic languages.