IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 633: Religious Authority, II: Reforming the Profane

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Maroula Perisanidi, Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Nottingham
Moderator/Chair:Charles West, Department of History, University of Sheffield
Paper 633-aSpiritual Gifts and Lay Authority in 11th-Century Byzantium
(Language: English)
Maroula Perisanidi, Classics, Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Nottingham
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Ecclesiastical History, Lay Piety, Religious Life
Paper 633-bAdvising Aristocrats: Alcuin and Living a Religious Life beyond the Cloister
(Language: English)
Stephen Michael Ling, School of History, University of Leicester
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Religious Life
Paper 633-cThe Sermons of Eustathios of Thessalonike: The Authority of Homer in the Service of Reform?
(Language: English)
Oliver Thomas, Department of Classics, University of Nottingham
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Language and Literature - Greek, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Sermons and Preaching
Abstract

This panel explores the divide between sacred and profane by focusing on monks and clerics as agents of lay reform. The first paper examines the place of the laity in the 11th-century struggle between monks and secular clerics, by looking at the writings of religious figures, such as Symeon the New Theologian and Niketas Stethatos, who put more emphasis on charismatic rather than institutional authority. The second paper analyses the advice Alcuin gave to secular figures, such as count Wido of Brittany, regarding their personal and public religious practices, and contrasts it to the advice offered to those in holy orders. The third paper focuses on the language used in the sermons and letters of Eustathius, a twelfth-century bishop of Thessalonike and commentator of the Homeric epics, and asks to what extent classical knowledge could be put to use in the moral reform of the laity.