Event: “Changing nature in the Baltic crusades in the Middle Ages”, TCD, 12 Apr 2016

Prof Kurt Villads Jensen, Stockholm University, will speak at the 27th Public Lecture and Meeting of the Irish Environmental History Network, today, Tuesday 12 April.

His lecture will be entitled “Changing nature in the Baltic crusades in the Middle Ages.” This will be held in the TRISS Seminar Room (C6.002), Floor 6, Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin, from 4.45 pm.

 Prof. Jensen is an innovative medievalist who has conducted comparative research in the Crusading worlds of Scandinavia and Portugal and is now turning his attention to the environmental aspects of the Crusades. A brief abstract is available below.

 Crusading brought pagan land under Christian control and changed it fundamentally. New agricultural organization and technology was introduced, maybe new crops, but first of all, nature as a concept was reformulated and given a new orientation. Pagan land became defined as desolate and barren, Christian land as cultivated and fertile. The perception of the surrounding physical world through the senses was deliberately changed by introducing new visual expressions and symbols, new colours, new sounds, and a new understanding of time. If the local population could not be persuaded or forced to abandon all the traditional connections to nature, these were incorporated into Christianity and pacified – as when crossed systematically were cut into old pagan sacred oak trees to baptise the trees.

 For more information on Prof. Jensen, see the following link:



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