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IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 127: Cistercians in the Middle Ages

Monday 10 July 2006, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Cîteaux: commentarii cistercienses
Organiser:Terryl N. Kinder, _Cîteaux: Commentarii cistercienses_, Pontigny
Moderator/Chair:Emilia Jamroziak, Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (FOVOG), Technische Universität Dresden / Institute for Medieval Studies / School of History, University of Leeds
Paper 127-aWilliam of Saint-Thierry on the Filioque and the Divine Mission of the Holy Spirit: Some Ecumenical Reflections
(Language: English)
Elizabeth A. Hastings, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Index terms: Monasticism, Theology
Paper 127-bA Cistercian Monk Writes to a Cistercian Nun: John Godard’s Treatise for the Abbess of Tarrant, England, c. 1250
(Language: English)
Elizabeth Freeman, School of Humanities, University of Tasmania
Index terms: Monasticism, Religious Life, Women’s Studies
Paper 127-cWhy Different?: Economies of the Eastern European Cistercian Monasteries of Mogiła and Henryków up to the End of the 13th Century
(Language: English)
Grzegorz Zabinski, School of Humanities (Archaeology), University of Glasgow
Index terms: Economics - Rural, Local History, Monasticism

Abstract paper -a: William of Saint-Thierry’s 12th-century pneumatology may perhaps have something to offer the modern-day ecumenical quest for Christian unity. Eastern Orthodoxy has long held Western filioquism responsible for a consequent improper subordination (ontological, logical, and temporal) of the Holy Spirit’s mission to that of Jesus the Son of God. The broader framework of this point of contention between the Greek and Latin Christian traditions is whether the starting point for Trinitarian thought (and for the divine missions) is more appropriately distinction of person or unity of essence, and the consequent effects of either position upon the Christian believer’s personal relationship respectively to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I shall argue that William moderates the prevailing 11th- and 12th-century Latin filioquism through emphasis on the distinction between the two divine missions based upon a personal identity proper to the Holy Spirit. How William accomplishes this moderation of filioquism, and how his solution might counteract the problem of subordination of the Spirit’s mission, is therefore the quest of this paper

Abstract paper -b: In around 1250, John Godard, former abbot of the Cistercian abbey of Newenham in Devon, wrote a treatise for his sister in Christ, Margaret, abbess of Tarrant Cistercian nunnery in Dorset. The treatise was edited by C. H. Talbot (Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis, 10 (1954), 208-67), yet Godard’s discourse on the mortification of the senses remains little known. The aims of my investigation are threefold. First, I plan to examine the extent to which Godard’s treatise fits in with the wider trend of speculum literature being written by monks for nuns in the High Middle Ages. Second, I will make preliminary observations on the place of this text in the Cistercian literary tradition. Third, I will comment on what this treatise can teach us about Cistercian nuns in medieval England, a topic on which much remains to be learnt.

Abstract paper -c: The Cistercian monasteries of Mogiła (Little Poland) and Henryków (Silesia) were both founded in the 1220s from the mother house of Lubiąż in Silesia. In around 1300, Mogiła’s income was based on tithes and peasant rents, while Henryków's relied primarily on estates held in demesne, with a secondary reliance on rents. In contrast to Mogiła, Henryków colonised forests, and was involved in handicraft and trade. This can partly be explained by the fact that Mogiła received rich foundation grants, in contrast to Henryków. Patronage over Mogiła was taken over by the bishops of Kraków, and the house was favoured by the rulers of Kraków. On the other hand, the dukes of Silesia, nominal patrons of Henryków, seemed fairly disinterested in the new house. Episcopal and ducal favour for Mogiła resulted in numerous grants, while their own acquisitions proved to be of secondary importance. Henryków, however, was deprived of ducal protection, and this was not sufficiently counterbalanced by the support of the bishops of Wrocław. An additional factor is the different economic conditions of the regions where each of these houses were situated. Mogiła’s vicinity was rather well populated, so its acquisitions comprised profitable estates, revenues, exemptions, and enterprises - hence why Mogiła was able to base its economy on rents. As the environs of Henryków were sparsely settled, however, the house acquired barely-populated land that could only effectively be organised as demesne, due to the lack of external support and low level of population. The development of craft and trade was indispensable for Henryków, which, unlike Mogiła, lay away from great urban centres. These two patterns have often been referred to as 'Western' and 'Eastern' ways. The former one (related to assumed 'Cistercian original principles') was based on demesne, while the latter focused on the exploitation of a dependent population. Although some features of both houses' developments were notably 'Cistercian' in character, a decisive role was played by local factors: pre-foundation conditions, the foundation and early benefices, and relations with the social, economic, and political environment. Examples from the practices of other religious houses suggest that Mogiła and Henryków were not the only monasteries to have been influenced by such localised factors. Thus, the diverse development of Mogiła and Henryków was a part of a broader phenomenon.