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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 716: Caught Unawares?: Understanding Bishops' Reactions to Calls for Ecclesiastical Reform in the Long 11th Century

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Religion & Society in the Early & Central Middle Ages (ReSoMA) / Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Gent
Organiser:Tjamke Snijders, Vakgroep Geschiedenis, Universiteit Gent
Moderator/Chair:John S. Ott, Department of History, Portland State University, Oregon
Paper 716-aJust a Fly in the Ointment?: Lotharingian Bishops' Local Reactions to the 'Gregorian Call for Reform'
(Language: English)
Pieter Byttebier, Vakgroep Geschiedenis, Universiteit Gent
Index terms: Anthropology, Ecclesiastical History, Local History, Religious Life
Paper 716-bFriend or Foe?: The Bishops of Metz in Monastic Historical Narrative, c. 1000 - c. 1200
(Language: English)
Samantha Kahn Herrick, Department of History, Syracuse University, New York
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Historiography - Medieval, Monasticism
Paper 716-cShepherds and Princes: Episcopal Reactions to the Calls for Reform and the Challenge of Political Change
(Language: English)
Ludger Körntgen, Historisches Seminar, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Political Thought, Religious Life, Social History

The so-called 'Gregorian Reform', which already found its start decades before the actual papacy of Gregory VII, needs to be seen in the light of many different 'calls for reform' throughout and beyond the 11th Century. These calls had at their center ideas that challenged not only the existing bases of clerical authority, but also the concrete practice of how to be a clergyman. Especially bishops, the leaders of the local clergy and the stake in the Investiture Struggle, saw the nature of their local office being contested in entirely new ways. Examining the impact of such calls for reform on a diocesan level, papers in this session will evaluate how exactly European bishops responded (or not) to the surge of such new demands, or how their reactions were represented. Such a discussion will provide us with insights in the range of episcopal instruments of leadership-representation, and in both their adaptability to changing circumstances and their reception by different groups. More profoundly however, it will also offer an appreciation of how exactly episcopal authority was understood in a local context and how in return these reform-calls were regarded as structurally or only contingently challenging this understanding.