IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1010: Texts and Identities, I: Was there a Columbanian Identity?

Wednesday 11 July 2012, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht / Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Organisers:Albrecht Diem, Department of History, Syracuse University, New York
Gerda Heydemann, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Alexander O'Hara, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Moderator/Chair:Clare Stancliffe, Department of History, Durham University
Paper 1010-aIs Columbanian Monasticism Still a Valid Concept?
(Language: English)
Alexander O'Hara, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Monasticism
Paper 1010-bNuns Don't Carry Knives: Discipline and Theology in Columbanian Monasticism
(Language: English)
Albrecht Diem, Department of History, Syracuse University, New York
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Monasticism
Paper 1010-cDiversity within the Movement: Regional Interpretation of the Columbanian Model
(Language: English)
Yaniv Fox, Department of General History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Monasticism
Abstract

The theme of ‘Rules to Follow (or Not)’ is particularly relevant to scholars of Columbanus and the Columbanian monastic network. The maverick Irish ascetic exile and monastic founder routinely broke rules in his unwillingness to compromise with ecclesiastical norms on the Continent and through his outspoken criticism of secular and ecclesiastical leaders. In his pursuit of unfettered independence from bishops and Merovingian kings, Columbanus was willing to break the rules in order to create his ideal monastic community free from external influence. Columbanus’s punitive and elite form of monasticism was modified by his Frankish disciples following his death. This, in part, contributed to a remarkable expansion in monastic foundations in Merovingian Gaul based on the model of Columbanus’s principal monastery of Luxeuil. During the course of the 7th century this network of monasteries transformed the monastic map of Merovingian Gaul while redefining monasticism in western Europe. But to what extent was there a Columbanian identity and is the concept of Columbanian monasticism still a valid one? The three papers in this session address this question.