Customs, Cultures, Rituals and Beliefs

Dr Iain Robertson, Dr David Worthington, Dr Jim MacPherson, Dr Elizabeth Ritchie, Dr Lucy Dean

Customs, Cultures Rituals and BeliefsCustoms, culture, rituals and beliefs permeate life in the past, just as they do in the present and will in the future. This alliance thus incorporates research from a wide spectrum of the team, forges strong links across research areas within the Centre, and seeks to understand more about the human experience.

Our research spans varied chronologies, geographies, genders and societal levels. Current work includes Elizabeth Ritchie’s explorations of the impact of Evangelicalism upon nineteenth-century family life and community culture, and Lucy Dean’s forthcoming monograph exploring the rituals of death and the royal succession in Scotland straddling the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries.

The cultural links forged between diasporas and communities divided by geographic space underpins a key strand of our research in this area, including David Worthington’s work on connections between Scotland and Poland, and Jim MacPherson’s ongoing projects into cricket in the Empire.

Customs and beliefs are, however, often the source of much contention and this is another dominant feature of active research in the alliance. This includes Philippa Woodcock’s ongoing research into potential cultural clashes within the Mediterranean courts of early modern Europe, Iain Robertson’s ongoing work exploring customary behaviours as reactive protest, and Jim MacPherson’s growing interests in the music, songs and poetry of protest.

This alliance forges new and exciting research ground in the manner that people across time and place navigate their world through the customs, cultures, rituals and beliefs that shape and are shaped by them.