Forma Sanctitatis – NeMoSanctI International Conference: the Program

NeMoSanctI International Conference “Forma Sanctitatis” is approaching. We are very pleased to present the complete program of the three days.

The conference will be held from 6 to 8 September in the Graduation Room of the Aldo Moro complex, located in via Giuseppe Verdi (on the corner of Via Sant’Ottavio).

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Wednesday 6 September

8:30 – 9:00

Greetings and opening of the works

Graziano Lingua (Università di Torino)

Alessandro Mengozzi (Università di Torino)

 Jenny Ponzo (Università di Torino)

9:00 – 10:30

Interdisciplinary approaches for a scientific study of sanctity

Chair: Francesco Galofaro

Luigi Berzano (Università di Torino), Saintly models and lifestyles in the sociological tradition.

Lucia Galvagni (Fondazione Bruno Kessler), Good and Righteous: A phenomenological perspective on different forms of sanctity.

Paolo Bertetti (Università di Torino), Figures of Sanctity. Semiotics, Sacred Texts and Theory of Culture.

11:00 – 12:30

Positiones and acts of canonization as sources for research

Chair: Marco Papasidero

Paolo Cozzo (Università di Torino), Inchieste per eventi miracolosi nei santuari italiani di prima età moderna: riflessioni su unatipologia di fonte [Investigations on miraculous events in Italian sanctuaries of the early Modern age: reflections on a type of source].

Valentina Ciciliot (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia), Studying sanctity: positiones, homilies and hagiographies  in comparison.

Simona Serci (Archivio Generale Ordine Carmelitano), I processi informativi  come fonte per la storia: il caso del beato carmelitano Angelo Paoli [The informative trials as a source for history: the case of the blessed carmelite Angelo Paoli].

14:30 – 16:00

The codification of sanctity: rituals, body and clothing

Chair: Eleonora Chiais

Eleonora Chiais (Università di Torino), The dress code of holiness: the vestimentary iconography of contemporary saints.

Alberto Fabio Ambrosio (Luxembourg School of Religion & Society; Collège des Bernardins), Sainthood in the Fashion System(Designers, Tailors, Brands).

Giampaolo Proni (Università di Bologna), Heavenly Dresses: Unattainability, Fashion and Distance. A Semiotic Analysis of the2018 MET Exhibit on Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.

16:30 – 18:00

Aesthetics and iconography of saints

Chair: Francesco Galofaro

Federico Vercellone (Università di Torino), The iconographic profanation of the face in contemporary art.

Yuliia Khlystun (East Ukrainian Volodymyr Dahl University), Peculiarities of images of saints in Orthodox iconography. 

Anita Kłos (UMCS of Lublin), Catholic Iconography in Contemporary Women’s Art and Visual Activism in Poland.

18:00 – 19:00

The encyclopedic organization of knowledge about saints

Daniele Menozzi (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), Presentation/dialog on the book L’Italia e i santi, Treccani. Con Marco Papasidero (Università di Palermo).

Thursday 7 September

9:00 – 10:30

Non-stereotypical models of sanctity in fiction

Chair: Magdalena Maria Kubas

Cristiana Lardo (Università “Tor Vergata” di Roma), Quando un Santo scrive ai Santi: Illustrissimi di Albino Luciani [From Blessed to Saints: the imaginary letters in Illustrissimi by Albino Luciani].

Davide Dalmas (Università di Torino), Blasphemy and sanctity: opposed sacred models in the ‘Scarrozzanti’ by Giovanni Testori (1972-1977).

Magdalena Kowalska (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń), Women rulers and their saint models in the Polish culture.

11:00 – 12:30 Sanctity and digital media

Chair: Marco Papasidero

François De Vriendt (Société des Bollandistes, Brussels), NFTs as New Forms of Devotion? Relics and Othe rReligious Items Proposed as Non-Fungible Tokens.

Marco Papasidero (Università di Palermo), Supernatural apparitions, relics, and miraculous images in the “Christian Family TV” cartoons.

Heidi Campbell (College of Arts and Sciences, Texas A&M University), Studying Digital Religious Materiality: Thought on Theories and Methods from Digital Religion Studies for Researching Hybrid Materiality in a Digital Age.

14:30 – 16:00

Pop hagiographies

Chair: Jenny Ponzo

Simona Stano (Università di Torino), Just Believe (in Yourself): Bodies, Objects, and Figures of the Contemporary “Cult of the Self”.

Armando Fumagalli (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), TV biographies of Catholic Saints: behind the success of the Italian miniseries from 2000 onward.

Moritz Lampe (Universitaet Leipzig), Photography and the fashioning of modern martyrs in the 19th century.

16:30 – 18:00

Faces. Between worship and iconoclasm

Chair: Gabriele Marino

Emily Cock (Cardiff University), Cropped martyrs: faith and facial disfigurement in early modern England.

Ilaria Sabbatini (Università di Palermo, ARCVO – Archivio Digitale del Volto Santo), Ante Vultum. Contributi per uno studio sulla funzione liturgica del Volto Santo di Lucca in rapporto all’immagine di Beirut [Ante Vultum. Contributions for a study on the liturgical function of the Holy Face of Lucca].

Milena Cordioli (IUSVE – Istituto Universitario Salesiano, Venezia; Accademia Santa Giulia di Brescia), La profanazione iconografica del volto nell’arte contemporanea.

Friday 8 September

9:00  10:30 Sanctity and gender

Chair: Ugo Volli

Lucetta Scaraffia (Università di Roma, “La Sapienza”), Donne e uomini nella storia della santità [Women and man in the history of holiness].

Sanja Kobilij (Università di Banja Luka), (A mother’s) Sacrifice in History: A Novel by Elsa Morante.

Magdalena Maria Kubas and Cristina Voto (Università di Torino), St Wilgefort on the border of holiness and female identity.

11:00 – 13:30 Sanctity across religions

Chair: Antonio Santangelo

Stefania Palmisano and Nicola Pannofino (Università di Torino), The other virtuosos. Life stories of new spiritual seekers in Italy.

Ugo Volli (Università di Torino), Sanctity, difference, justice.

Luca Patrizi (Università di Torino), “Proximity” (walāya, qurba) as a paradigm of sanctity in Sunni Islam.

14:30 – 16:00 Semiotic approaches to sanctity

Chair: Paolo Bertetti

Massimo Leone (University of Turin; Bruno Kessler Foundation; Shanghai University; University of Cambridge), Saints and Signs: A Reconsideration.

Maria Luisa Solis Zepeda (Universidad de Puebla, Mexico), About Normative Sanctities and Dissident Spiritualities.

Jenny Ponzo (Università di Torino), Saintly People: Final Remarks on NeMoSanctI.

What is NeMoSanctI?


NeMoSanctI is a research project carried out at the University of Turin. It studies how models of sanctity have changed after the Second Vatican Council. To this end, it applies a pioneering methodology based on semiotic theory to a wide corpus of normative, judicial, and narrative texts.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 757314).