Keynote Lecture

Prof. Dr. Sonia Hazard

Keynote Lecture Thursday, 03/June/2021, 05:00pm – 06:30pm, Cisco Webex

The Case of the “Gold Plates”: How Ordinary Material Objects Sparked a Religious Revolution.


Did Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, really find “gold plates”? In this talk, I will reconsider the question of the plates—the enigmatic material artifacts at the center of America’s most famous homegrown religion—using methods inspired by new materialism and actor-network theory. The answer is yes, Smith (and possibly a group of witnesses) had a formative bodily encounter with a set of plates, and that this encounter was partly responsible for provoking Mormonism’s development. These plates could have been either stereotype plates or copper plates, both commonly used for industrial printing in the nineteenth-century United States. I will offer this historical investigation as an occasion to reflect theoretically on the implications on material religion scholarship when we expand the concept of “agency” to include nonhuman actors. I will also take the first steps toward a case for the value of borrowing “emic theory” from within certain religious traditions (including Mormonism) that possess robust understandings of more-than-human material forces.


“Curtain Up! Insights into the Three Participating Museums”

Friday, 04/June/2021, 12:45pm – 13:45pm, Cisco Webex

Three museums are involved in REDIM: The Dommuseum in Frankfurt/Main, the Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig and the Religionskundliche Sammlung at the Philipps-Universität Marburg. At this event, directors and curators respectively will show you short films and give you insights into their object collections and exhibitions as far as they were influenced by the REDIM-project. Additionally, there will be time to talk to directors and the curator.

(The event will be open to the public and the event language will be German.)

„Vorhang auf! Einblicke in die drei beteiligten Museen“

Drei Museen sind an REDIM beteiligt: Das Dommuseum in Frankfurt am Main, das Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig und die Religionskundliche Sammlung an der Philipps-Universität Marburg. Bei dieser Veranstaltung zeigen Ihnen die Direktoren bzw. Kuratoren Kurzfilme und geben Ihnen Einblicke in ihre Objektsammlungen und Ausstellungen, soweit sie durch das REDIM-Projekt beeinflusst wurden. Zusätzlich wird es Zeit geben, mit den Direktorinnen und der Kuratorin zu sprechen.

Round Table

“Challenges, Processes and Findings in the Research of Religious Things in the Museum.”

Friday, 04/June/2021, 04:15pm – 05:45pm, Cisco Webex

REDIM academic staff discuss their experiences in research with Prof. Dr. Edith Franke, spokesperson of the project.

(The event will be open to the public and the event language will be German.)

„Herausforderungen, Wege und Erkenntnisse in der Forschung – religiöse Artefakte im Museum“

Die wissenschaftlichen Mitarbeiter/innen von REDIM diskutieren mit Prof. Dr. Edith Franke, Sprecherin des Projekts über ihre Erfahrungen in der Forschung zu religiösen Dingen im Museum.

Keynote Lecture

Nanette J. Snoep

Keynote Lecture Friday, 04/June/2021, 06:15pm -07:45pm, Cisco Webex

RE:ANIMA – Wenn Objekte im Museum zum Leben erwachen