IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 210: Visions of Community, II: Related Narratives, Entangled Communities - Strategies of Identification in Central European Historiography and Hagiography

Monday 1 July 2013, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Sonderforschungsbereich 42 'Visions of Community: Comparative Approaches to Ethnicity, Region & Empire in Christianity, Islam & Buddhism, 400-1600', Universität Wien / Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Organiser:Rutger Kramer, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Moderator/Chair:Steffen Patzold, Abteilung für Mittelalterliche Geschichte, Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen
Paper 210-aNarrating Community: Methodological Approaches
(Language: English)
Christina Lutter, Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, Universität Wien
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Social History, Teaching the Middle Ages
Paper 210-bA Community in Search of Itself: Sankt Gallen and the Making of St Otmar
(Language: English)
Bernhard Zeller, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Index terms: Hagiography, Historiography - Medieval, Local History, Monasticism
Paper 210-cCommunities of Violence: Saracens and Saints in Medieval Bavaria
(Language: English)
John Eldevik, Department of History, Hamilton College, New York
Index terms: Crusades, Hagiography, Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities
Paper 210-dThe Stories of a Community: Zwettl and the Magnum Legendarium Austriacum
(Language: English)
Martin Haltrich, Stiftsbibliothek Klosterneuburg
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Social History, Teaching the Middle Ages

Whenever a group of people gets together, whenever a community gradually comes into being, its members inevitably start reflecting on their own histories and retelling them in terms of how their lives had become intertwined, and, eventually how their shared feeling of belonging together had developed. In doing so, they would of course also take recourse to the previously existing narratives that inspired them to make their own story one worth relating to, and look to other communities around them for comparison and inspiration – both positive and negative. As such, stories developed into narratives and the people and communities that produced them would develop almost continuously throughout the ages, feeding off one another and becoming increasingly intertwined: a fascinating process, which this session hopes to address more fully. First, Christina Lutter will present an overview of the methodological issues that arise when one considers the functions of narrative sources and their uses in the formation and consolidation of communities. Bernhard Zeller will then focus on a particular case by showing how the formation, use and and Nachleben of St Otmar in the Carolingian age helped the monastery of Sankt-Gallen find its own way in history. John Eldevik will then go on to examine the peculiar tradition of the Passio of the crusading archbishop Thiemo of Salzburg. As he argues, the images of violence in this work should not only be seen an example of medieval (mis)perceptions of Islam as a polytheistic cult, but also were also appropriated for negotiating conflicts and identities in other contexts, particularly monastic reform. Finally, Martin Haltrich will then present the case of the Magnum Legendarium Austriacum, a huge and ostentatious 12th-century collection of mostly older, but also some contemporary saints’ lives that may only be found in Austrian libraries, addressing the observation that not only the composition, but also the copying of texts could help bring a community together.