This session draws together papers dealing with the question of various ‘border mentalities’ in a range of contexts.
Southern Italy in the 9th century supported a diversity of religious practices including imperial monasteries, a strong tradition of hermits and wandering monks surviving from Late Antiquity, and a myriad of small religious foundations. Here differences between monastery and church, clergy and layman, and Greek and Latin services were often blurred and religious authority was tenuous. Yet Catello, bishop of Castellammare di Stabia and hermit, was brought to Rome and imprisoned for heresy in 824. In my paper, I will explore what constituted dissent in this region of spiritual diversity and how Catello’s case was part of the struggle between bishops, abbots, and the papacy to assert religious authority in Campania.
Se tiende a mostrar, basado en los fuentes del archivo de los poderes seculares venecianos y los del archivo obispal una imagen de la religiosidad muy compleja en Cataro, Albania Veneta. Como la diócesis Catarense embarcaba los partes de la Serbia hasta el Belgrado y Croacia, era, a pesar de la escasez e aislación, significante. Los obispos, la mayoria de ellos del origen italiano, no sabian como tratar il problema del crecimiento de la población ortodoxa. Por la razón del idioma ritual comprensible, la iglesia ortodoxa atraía los católicos. Por otra parte, hubó muchos enclaves de los católicos inhabitantes en el interior del país, donde la mayoria de la población era ortodoxa. Administración de un teritorio vasto y ocupado de parte de los Osmanlí, sobrepasaba las fuerzas de los obispos catarenses.
In the 12th-century Anglo-Latin The Miracle Book of William of Norwich, Thomas of Monmouth paints himself as a ‘David’ struggling against the ‘Goliath’ of ecclesiastical critics, such as Guibert de Nogent, decrying devotion to local saints who are not universally approved. One of his arguments consists of accusing such sceptics of detracting from the glory of the saints, since divine knowledge itself has given William’s devotees cognizance of his sanctity. The author claims that its preceding book recounting the martyrdom ‘bears testimony [testimonium]’ and that that same testimony is confirmed [attestantur] by ‘subsequent and daily miracles’ – ‘the which, if they had not been wrought by divine power, could by no means have continued so long, since those things which are not of God very soon pass away [quoniam que ex deo non sunt per se citius dispereunt]’. This text explicitly aligns the miracles with the never-ending quality of eternal time, and by the same token associates false miracles or marvels with earthly time. In this paper, I will examine such moments of ‘new’ orthodoxy set out in rhetorical arguments by the Book’s author in contrast with de Nogent’s fears of pollution in devotional practice. Further, I will discuss the importance of these moments in the larger context of Jewish heresy (imbricated with Christian destiny) in the Book.