IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1113: Monastic Rules as Rules for the World, I

Wednesday 11 July 2012, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften
Organiser:Gert Melville, Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (FOVOG), Technische Universität Dresden
Moderator/Chair:Gert Melville, Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (FOVOG), Technische Universität Dresden
Paper 1113-aMonasteries as Laboratories of Time
(Language: English)
Stefan Burkhardt, Historisches Seminar, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Index terms: Hagiography, Historiography - Medieval, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 1113-bConcepts of Rule and Regulation in 13th-Century Dominican Writing
(Language: English)
Julia Dücker, Historisches Seminar, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Monasticism, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 1113-cWilliam, Abbot of Westminster, and the Rules of Seating at the Council of Pisa, 1409
(Language: English)
Mona Kirsch, Historisches Seminar, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Index terms: Mentalities, Monasticism, Political Thought, Social History
Paper 1113-dMonastic Architecture of the Franciscan Order
(Language: English)
Leonie Silberer, Institut für Europäische Kunstgeschichte, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Monasticism

Abstract paper a: Monasteries are said to have been one of the institutions of medieval Europe that invented and established to some degree the principles of our modern society in a pre-modern era. Some of these principles are closely connected to the question of how to organize time: days, months and years. In my speech, I will consider the different comprehensions of medieval monks on the phenomena of ‘time’, the different ‘rules of time management and scheduling’, their calculating instruments and their longue-dureé-effect on the modern society. The main focus should be on monasteries’ impact to innovate conceptions of life and organization in Europe.

Abstract paper b: The 13th century saw the publication of different treatises on Dominican life and organization. They were created in the context of fundamental changes within as well as outside the Dominican Order. Challenged by the quarrel with the Parisian secular clergy, Franciscans and Dominicans had insistently endeavored to justify their existence in public. Beyond that, the Dominicans had to cope with a change of generation and with the danger of losing the so far orally kept knowledge of Dominican traditions and legends. An attempt to summarize and defend the principles of Dominican life was Thomas of Cantimpré’s Bonum universale de apibus. Using the metaphor of a bee community, Thomas presented his ideas of the hierarchical structure and rule of religious communities. Focusing on his Book of Bees, the talk will discuss concepts of rule and regulation of mendicant life.

Abstract paper c: In recent years, historians increasingly became aware of seating arrangements as a symbolic indicator of rank and social hierarchy. At the late medieval councils, the order of placement entails also a pivotal theological and ecclesiological dimension, since the assembly represents the gathering of all Christendom. In order to define the appropriate seating place for the participants, different layers of rules were applied to combine the political status with the ordained and jurisdictional hierarchy of the Church. This complex system of regulations will be elaborated by the example of William, Abbot of Westminster at the Council of Pisa 1409. Important insight into the structure of the Council and its claim to consentire in unum are gained by contrasting his place with the seats of the other abbots and by following the shift of his position.

Abstract paper d: Research on monastic architecture of the Franciscan order other than church buildings has been neglected, possibly eclipsed by the novelty of the Friars’ lifestyle and spirituality. Analysis and comparison of buildings are necessary to find out dis-/similarities in Franciscan architecture. Regulation of monastic life plays an important role as basic principle of both, architectural and spiritual order. In reverse, building structures and alignment of rooms tell about the importance of rule and self-perception as well as external factors such as gatherings of the City Council in the monastery. Particularly, the new phenomenon of dual cloister structures shall be discussed.