Modernity and Religion in Central European Art and Architecture: Online workshop

A marked aspect of modernist art and architecture was the search for the spiritual. This has long been recognised, but the involvement of organised religion remains much less examined. Focusing on interwar central Europe, the online lecture series Modernity and Religion in Central European Art and Architecture examines critically the stakes involved in the engagement with religious faith by artists and architects, as well as the role of religiously-motivated state and church patronage in shaping cultural politics.

The workshop is organised in cooperation with the Belvedere, Vienna.

The events will take place on Zoom, every fortnight starting on 4 Feb 2021 and concluding with a roundtable on 13 May 2021. The lectures will begin at 18.00 CET.

The workshop is free to attend, but you need to register. Click here for the registration form.

Registered participants will receive a Zoom link before each event. If you are having problems with the registration or the link, please email Jana Hájková at

The sessions will be chaired by Matthew Rampley and/or another member of the CRAACE team. The individual sessions will be announced separately via Facebook/Twitter and our website. The papers will be recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel a few days after each event.

Download schedule as pdf



4 February 2021 – Keynote lecture

Cynthia Paces (The College of New Jersey, NJ)

Nation-Building: Religious Structures and Politics in Interwar Europe



18 February 2021 – Session 1

Matthew Rampley (Masaryk University, Brno)

‘The Gothic cathedral is more of a construction record than an expression of religious fervour’ (Karel Teige): Debates about Modernism and Church Architecture in the 1920s and 1930s

Manuela Klauser (Independent Scholar, München)

‘Building the Faith’: Church Architecture of the 1920s in Germany: How far did the network, the impact and the theoretical background of the famous German ‘Kirchenbaumeister’ reach?



4 March 2021 – Session 2

Bruce Berglund (Gustavus Adolphus College, Sankt Peter)

Imagining a Modern Religion in Interwar Prague

Janek Wasserman (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa)

Catholic Thought and Austrian Politics, 1891–1931



18 March 2021 – Session 3

Marcus van der Meulen (RWTH Aachen University)

Reaction and Renewal: Religious Buildings and National Resurrections in the Second Polish Republic

Vanessa Parent (Montreal; Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome)

Expressionist Eschatologies: Envisioning Redemption in the work of Albin Egger-Lienz



1 April 2021 – Session 4

Mária Orišková (Trnava University)

‘The Virgin Mary’ or a ‘Woman in Black Hat’? Re-interpretations of Religious Imagery in Modern Art



15 April 2021 – Session 5

Erzsébet Urbán (Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest)

Roman Catholic church-constructing programme of the Saint Stephen Jubilee (1938): Catholic Renaissance and Its Sacral Architecture in the 1930s in Hungary

Eszter Baku (Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest)

Tradition and Innovation: The Historical Tradition and Modernity in Hungarian Church Architecture in the Interwar Period



29 April 2021 – Keynote Lecture

Elizabeth Otto (State University of New York at Buffalo)

Bauhaus Occult: Experimental Spirituality in the Home of Rational Modernism


13 May 2021 – Roundtable

Details to follow.


This workshop is part of a project that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 786314).

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