IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1024: Goodbye to Heretics?: Discussing Polemical and Inquisitional Discourses on Heresy, I

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University, Brno
Organiser:David Zbíral, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Moderator/Chair:Sita Steckel, Historisches Seminar, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Paper 1024-aTruth and Fantasy in Jacques Fournier’s Register
(Language: English)
James Given, Department of History, University of California, Irvine
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Daily Life, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 1024-bForming Identity and Legitimizing Leadership: Why the 12th-13th-Century Narratives about the History of Cathar Groups are Not Pure Polemical Fantasy
(Language: English)
David Zbíral, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Ecclesiastical History, Religious Life, Social History
Abstract

At the IMC 2012, twenty-five years after the publication of The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Power and Deviance in Western Europe, 950-1250 by Robert I. Moore, we revisited the topic of the ‘formation of persecuting societies’. At this year’s sessions, we will focus on polemical and inquisitional discourses on heresy. We fully acknowledge the contribution of ‘deconstructionist’ trends in the study of medieval dissident movements, but we will try to show that some conclusions put forward are exaggerated. On the basis of a close reading of the sources – very much in the spirit of Peter Biller’s ‘Goodbye to Waldensianism?’ (Past and Present, 192, 2006, 3-33) which has inspired the title of the session – we want to show that 1) many polemical and inquisitional sources yield valuable data related to the identities, everyday lives, forms of organization, rituals, and beliefs of the dissidents; 2) polemical and inquisitional discourses on heresy are sometimes being oversimplified; they cannot be reduced to one clear image of heresy, but generate multiple, sometimes even competing images.