IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 1609: Heretical Afterlives, III: Heresy, Narrative, and National Identity

Thursday 16 July 2009, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Emilia Jamroziak, Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (FOVOG), Technische Universität Dresden / Institute for Medieval Studies / School of History, University of Leeds
Paper 1609-aJohn Wycliffe: Hero and Heresiarch
(Language: English)
Sean A. Otto, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, Downtown
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Historiography - Medieval, Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Theology
Paper 1609-bReligious Relationships: The Byzantine Conversion of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Conversion of Byzantium
(Language: English)
Alexander Angelov, Department of History, University of Michigan
Index terms: Anthropology, Byzantine Studies, Religious Life
Paper 1609-cDer fromme Ketzer Dietrich/Theoderich: Zur 'Deutungshoheit' über eine literarisch-historische Gestalt aus arianischer bzw. katholischer Sicht
(Language: Deutsch)
Jörg Füllgrabe, Sozialwissenschaften, Hochschule Darmstadt
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - German
Abstract

This session explores the influence of heretical figures from the Middle Ages on later periods in different contexts, especially with regard to their use in the construction of communal and national identity.

Paper -a:
While John Wycliffe was considered a heresiarch by many of his contemporaries, and certainly by most all of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, he also collected admirers both at home and on the continent. In the 500 and more years since his death little has changed, and mythologies have grown up around him; viewed sometimes as a hero of Protestantism before the Reformation and sometimes as the worst heretic that the Middle Ages produced. Curiously, the same acts and ideas attributed to Wycliffe (mythical or real) produced diametrically opposed characterisations from his detractors and supporters. This paper is an exploration of the interpretations of these acts and ideas.

Paper -b:
This paper will examine primarily how the employment of ‘religion’ in general and the narration of ‘conversion’ in particular influenced the Byzantine Empire in the 9th century. In past studies on ‘the Byzantine conversion’, the chief questions have targeted the effect that conversion has on the converts, and some regional historians have appropriated the Byzantine missions within ‘their’ medieval polities to depict them as ‘national’ events. How did the Byzantine elites define and re-define ‘religious conversion’ in the mission encounter? How did ‘the conversion narrative’ produce cultural boundaries and political legitimizations in the Byzantine and in modern scholarship and nation building?

Paper -c:
Der Ostgotenkönig Theoderich der Große, der sicherlich für die Gestalt des literarischen ‘Dietrich von Bern’ Pate stand, ist eine der in der zeitgenössischen wie auch späteren Auffassung umstrittensten Persönlichkeiten des frühen Mittelalters. Galt er nicht nur unter den (Ost-)Goten, sondern zunächst allen arianischen Germanenvölkern als Idealfigur eines christlichen Herrschers, wurde er aus katholischer Sicht wegen seines arianischen Bekenntnisses geradezu verteufelt. Beide Ansätze bzw. die Gewinnung von ‘Deutungshoheiten’ lassen sich sowohl in historischen als auch literarischen Texten verfolgen, letztere jedoch scheinen noch manch überraschenden Aspekt zu bieten.