IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 226: Texts and Identities, II: The Politics of Interpretation during the Carolingian Reforms

Monday 6 July 2015, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht / Faculty of History, University of Cambridge / Sonderforschungsbereich 42 'Visions of Community', Wien
Organisers:Gerda Heydemann, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Rutger Kramer, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Moderator/Chair:Jinty Nelson, Department of History, King's College London
Paper 226-aText and Reform: Isidore's Sententiae at the Carolingian Court
(Language: English)
Claire Tignolet, Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale de Paris (LAMOP - UMR 8589), Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Liturgy, Politics and Diplomacy, Sermons and Preaching
Paper 226-bThe Bible, Law, and Exegesis: The Case of Theodulf of Orléans
(Language: English)
Gerda Heydemann, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Ecclesiastical History, Law, Theology
Paper 226-cTurning Benedict into a Shepherd: Smaragdus's Pastoral Interpretation of the Regula Benedicti
(Language: English)
Matthieu van der Meer, Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics, Syracuse University, New York
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Liturgy, Monasticism, Sermons and Preaching
Abstract

During its heyday, the twin concepts of ‘reform’ and ‘renewal’ were key terms for the self-understanding of the Carolingian intellectual elites. The reigns of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious were characterised by almost continuous efforts to extend and improve the state of the Frankish Church, which in turn drove the bishops, abbots and other notables to re-interpret the sources they had at their disposal to actually effectuate the improvements they envisaged, and to embed them in the newly created political framework of the late 8th and early 9th centuries. The three papers in this session provide key examples of how this would work in practice. First, Claire Tignolet will show the impact of the works of Isidore of Seville on Carolingian thought by taking a closer look at the way his Sententiae were appropriated by a key player at Charlemagne’s court, Theodulf of Orléans. Gerda Heydemann will then continue looking at Theodulf, focusing on his dual role as a lawmaker and an exegete and the different ways he would use the Bible for each of these functions. Finally, Matthieu van der Meer will draw a connection between these episcopal modes of thought and their monastic counterparts by showing how Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel used pastoral texts to interpret the Regula Benedicti in order to overcome the discrepancies between the norm of the Regula and the everyday practice of the world he lived in.