IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 515: Cloistered Emotions: Navigating the Performance and Practice of Monastic Affectivity

Tuesday 11 July 2006, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
Organisers:Gwendolyn Rice, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Downtown
Marc Saurette, Département d'histoire, Université Laval, Québec
Moderator/Chair:Gwendolyn Rice, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Downtown
Paper 515-aFrom Fear to Love of God: Affectivity and Ascending the Ladder of Obedience in the 12th-Century Monastery
(Language: English)
Marc Saurette, Département d'histoire, Université Laval, Québec
Index terms: Mentalities, Monasticism, Rhetoric
Paper 515-bTears of Sorrow, Tears of Redemption: Mourning the Dead in the Late Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Robert Marcoux, Université de Bourgogne
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Sculpture, Ecclesiastical History, Lay Piety, Mentalities
Paper 515-c'Disciplina clericalis' et 'gestus': l'Institutione novitiorum de Hugues de Saint Victor et le contrôle des émotions
(Language: Français)
Jérôme Thomas, Centre d'étude et de recherche sur les civilisations antiques de la Méditerranée, Université de Montpellier III - Paul Valéry
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Education, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Social History
Abstract

The expressions of monastic affectivity in art, architecture, and literature demonstrate the rich history of monks’ spiritual, but also very human passions. Although dead to the world in theory, medieval monks began, lived, and ended their lives amid the elaborate practice and performance of emotion. This session questions how significant spaces, events, and changes were marked and effected by the display of emotions, not only within the cloister, but also in the surrounding world.

Abstract paper -b: In the Middle Ages, the way in which grief is expressed actually determines its worth. Excessive gestures, screams, and facial distortions are condemned by the clergy, who consider such behaviour incompatible with the Christian principle of Redemption. For the Church, those who grieve must do so with moderation. For the tears they shed do not only express their sorrow, they are endowed with a certain redemptive power. Using the ‘weeper’ motif common to 14th- and 15th-century art, we shall try to demonstrate how this notion in fact relates the mourner to the monk in both status and appearance.

Abstract paper -c: L’Institione novitiorum de Huges de Saint Victor est l’un des ouvrages les plus importants du XIIe siècle et dont le rayonnement dépassera largement les limites de son cloître. Centré sur la discipline des novices, il accorde une place particulière au bon gouvernement de soi et à la meilleure manière de contrôler ses gestes et ses émotions afin de s’élever vers Dieu et de mieux le sanctifier. Ouvrage pionnier et novateur, il développe des thèmes dont nous sommes encore actuellement les héritiers.