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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 832: Reforming Knowledge in Monastic Contexts

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Jay Diehl, Department of History, Long Island University, New York
Paper 832-aCorrect Knowledge and the Aftermath of the Benedictine Reform in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England
(Language: English)
Inka Moilanen, Historiska institutionen, Stockholms Universitet
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Religious Life, Sermons and Preaching
Paper 832-bScientific Renewal through Monastic Reform?: The Case of the Arnstein Bible (London, British Library, MS Harley 2799)
(Language: English)
Michael Schonhardt, Historisches Seminar, Albert-Ludwigs-Universit├Ąt Freiburg
Index terms: Education, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Religious Life, Science
Paper 832-cSuger's Completion of the Economy of the Kingdom in the Reformation of Saint-Denis
(Language: English)
Jason Crow, School of Architecture, Louisiana State University
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Liturgy, Philosophy, Theology

Paper -a:
An idea of correct knowledge is often a fundamental driving force behind a reformist discourse. This holds especially true to the 'second-generation' Benedictine reformers in late Anglo-Saxon England, who extended their outreach to the instruction of the laity and secular clergy. To what extent such questions on canonical knowledge were meaningful to their later audiences is more complicated. This paper explores the notion of correct knowledge in the light of manuscript evidence from the 11th and 12th centuries. Focusing on this later material, the paper examines the uses of texts that originally were meant to convey a reformist impulse, and considers what implications the concept of correct knowledge might have in the processes of communication.

Paper -b:
By the end of the 12th century the scholar Eberhard became a brother in the Premonstratensian abbey of Arnstein. After studying at one of the cathedral schools in northern France, he eventually became interested in the new reform movements of the 12th century.
With him and his manuscripts collection a great deal of modern scientific knowledge arrived at Arnstein. A series of mysterious scientific diagrams added to the splendid Arnstein Bible (Harley 2799) shows an integration of this knowledge into the religious everyday life of the abbey. The paper reveals the programme underlying these diagrams: they brought together both scientific renewal and monastic reform by introducing scholastic sciences into a monastic framework.

Paper -c:
Suger's renovation and expansion of the abbey church at Saint-Denis, his political actions toward the production of the state of France, and his administrative care of his monks have historically been understood independently, but these three activities formed an integrated response to reforms to the mysterious body of Christ, the body that appeared in the form of the Eucharist, across the 12th century. Following Giorgio Agamben's interpretation of messianic time in Paul's Letter to the Romans as the completion of the economy of the household, I argue that the varied works of Suger recorded across the de administratione, de consecratione, de ordinatione and the vita Ludovici regis were intended as a total reformation of his domain that enabled the body of Christ as the power of the church, state and men to be resolved into a unity that could receive the presence of God.