IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 616: Charitable Love?: The Theory and Practice of Alms-Giving in Northern France and England in the 12th and 13th Centuries

Tuesday 11 July 2006, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Organisers:Elma Brenner, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
Katie Chambers, St John's College, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Catherine Rider, Christ's College, University of Cambridge
Paper 616-aAlms-Giving at the Court of Henry III: Emotion as Well as Gesture?
(Language: English)
Sally Dixon-Smith, Department of Mediaeval History, University of St Andrews
Index terms: Lay Piety, Politics and Diplomacy, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 616-bAlms-Giving in the Writings of the Paris Master, Peter the Chanter (d. 1197)
(Language: English)
Katie Chambers, St John's College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Lay Piety, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 616-cRational Love?: Alms-Giving to the Leper House of Mont-aux-Malades, Rouen, in the 12th and 13th Centuries
(Language: English)
Elma Brenner, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Lay Piety, Medicine, Monasticism, Religious Life
Abstract

Our session will investigate how alms-giving was both a prominent intellectual theme and an important aspect of religious and social life in the 12th and 13th centuries. It will focus on the contrast between the very familiar and apparently transparent ‘gesture’ of alms-giving and the murkier question of whether and in what sense a charitable love played a part (or was expected to play a part) in this act. In particular, the papers will investigate charity at the English royal court, and in medieval Rouen, as both a rational gesture (as an investment towards salvation) and an emotional activity (springing from a genuine concern for the needy); the social identity of patrons, and how they selected the recipients of their charity; and the theoretical approach to giving alms in the works of Peter the Chanter (d. 1197).