On 17-18 June 2010 Prof Constant J Mews, Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology within SOPHIS, participated in a workshop on a theme that he had proposed to the University (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität) of Münster, Germany: Women’s communities and Communities of Learning in the Middle Ages.
This workshop was organised by the “Religion and Politics Excellence Cluster” at the WWU-Münster, an interdisciplinary grouping of over 200 scholars who work on aspects of religion and politics either in the modern or the pre-modern (ie ancient and medieval periods). The workshop also invited Rina Lahav, a Monash postgraduate working on religion and gender in thirteenth-century France, to attend the workshop.
Prof Mews spent two weeks at Münster, both pursuing his own research into the politics surrounding the relics of Thomas Aquinas in fourteenth-century France and Italy, and discussing the research of a number of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers at Münster.
He worked closely with Prof Eva Scholotheuber, a specialist in women’s religious communities in Germany in the later Middle Ages, who is keen to come to New Zealand (to attend the annual conference of the Australian and NZ Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, being held in Dunedin) and Australia in February 2011.
Prof. Mews is keen to establish reciprocal ties with Münster, involving exchange of both younger and senior scholars between Germany and Australia. Münster is a distinguished University town with a wealth of libraries, belonging to the various university departments as well as to the Church.