Philippe Buc, born in Paris, France, in 1961. Ph.D. from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Associate Professor of Medieval History at Stanford University.
Fellow (1 Sepember 1997 – 30 June 1998)
I finished, as I had hoped, the last chapters of my book, “The Dangers of Ritual. The Politics of Medieval Anthropology” (under advanced contract with Princeton U.P.), a book in manuscript form of 350 pages. This essay on the relationship between medieval documents and the disciplines of History and Anthropology explores in its first part the medieval conceptions of ‘rites’ and, in its second part, the genesis of the social scientific concept of ‘ritual’. The confrontation of the two suggests, in the main, the inadequacy of modern models of ‘ritual’ to account for the contents and functioning of early-medieval political culture.
I also finished a translation of Victricius of Rouen’s, On the Advent of Relics (for a collection edited by Tom Head, Garland Press, expected publication 1999). I shall submit an English version of the talk I gave in Wassenaar in October and then in Münster in December 1997 to Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis.