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IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 611: Know your Enemy, II: Manipulating your Oppressors

Tuesday 14 July 2009, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Melanie Brunner, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 611-aBecoming Orthodox
(Language: English)
Ekaterini Mitsiou, Institut für Byzanzforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Social History
Paper 611-bLearning by Doing: Coping with Inquisitors in Medieval Languedoc
(Language: English)
James Given, Department of History, University of California, Irvine
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Social History
Paper 611-cFrom Orthodoxy to Heresy?: The Problems of Voluntary Martyrdom
(Language: English)
Lindsay Helen Thomson, School of Humanities (History), University of Glasgow
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Theology

While very few communities chose to construct themselves as 'heretical', the question of the orthodox-heretical divide played a role in the reactions of communities that found themselves the object of regulatory activity and discourse, opening a key terrain for negotiation, manipulation, and even subversion. The papers in this session explore perspectives on medieval religious worlds from, as it were, the terrorist's point of view.

Paper -a:
In the Register of the Patriarchate of Constantinople (Vind. hist. gr. 47 and 48, 14th century) many confessions of faith have been preserved. The persons who gave them were Latins, Muslims, but also former Orthodox who after having denounced their faith returned to the Orthodox Church. The present paper is going to focus on the 'schismatic' Latins who decided to become Orthodox and the motives for their decision. Another aspect of survey will be the reasons for registering their confessions in the two manuscripts of the Register. Finally, it will be examined the typology of the documents of the confessions, their contents, and their language.

Paper -b:
This paper, drawing on evidence from Languedoc in the 13th and 14th centuries, argues that there was an evolution in the way the people of Languedoc responded to the inquisitors of heretical depravity. When the inquisitors first appeared in Languedoc, they constituted a new, and unpredictable, set of players in local political arenas. Individuals and communities did not have a ready repertoire of behaviour designed to minimize the effects of inquisitorial activity. However, as the inquisitors' procedures became more routine, people learned how to cope with them, and indeed became capable of manipulating them for their own ends.

Paper -c:
Voluntary martyrdom has always been a contentious issue. In the early Church, it was especially so. This paper explores the evolution of voluntary martyrdom from almost celebrated in the wider sphere in the earliest texts to becoming considered heretical, particularly through the sermonising of Augustine against the Donatists and Montanists.