IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1124: Goodbye to Heretics?: Discussing Polemical and Inquisitional Discourses on Heresy, II

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University, Brno
Organiser:David Zbíral, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Moderator/Chair:David Zbíral, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Paper 1124-aGeoffrey of Auxerre’s Anti-Heretical Discourse from a Social Scientific Perspective: Some Preliminary Results
(Language: English)
Stamatia Noutsou, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Index terms: Religious Life, Rhetoric, Social History, Theology
Paper 1124-bBeyond the Narrative: Anomalies in Alain of Lille’s Contra Haereticos
(Language: English)
Rachel Ernst, Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Reading
Index terms: Religious Life, Rhetoric, Social History, Theology
Paper 1124-cDefining Heresy and Describing Error
(Language: English)
Lucy Sackville, Exeter College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Religious Life, Rhetoric, Social History, Theology
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.