IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 833: Confession in the Middle Ages, II: After the Fourth Lateran Council, 1215

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Network for the Study of Late Antique & Early Medieval Monasticism / Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (FOVOG), Technische Universität Dresden
Organiser:Albrecht Diem, Department of History, Syracuse University, New York
Moderator/Chair:Cristina Andenna, Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (FOVOG), Technische Universität Dresden
Paper 833-aSemantics of Confession: Religious Communication in Middle High German Books of Sermons
(Language: English)
Matthias Standke, Institut für deutsche Literatur, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - German, Religious Life, Sermons and Preaching
Paper 833-bConfession and Space: Considerations on Medieval loca confessionis
(Language: English)
Sebastian J. Mickisch, Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (FOVOG), Technische Universität Dresden
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Ecclesiastical History, Lay Piety, Religious Life

In his History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault described confession as the predominant way of producing knowledge in Western societies. The Western individual is, as he describes it, a ‘confessing animal’. Despite the increasing interest in penance and penitential literature, the medieval origins of confession, the transformation of confessional practices and the role of confession as a textual technique have hardly been studied systematically. We hope that the two sessions on confession form the beginning of a collaborative endeavour to explore the origins of confession as a religious and literary practice. Undoubtedly the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) with his famous clause Omnis utriusque sexus formed a turning point in the history of confession. The first session focuses on confessional texts and textual practices rooting in the pre-1215 world, the second session focuses on confessional practices emerging after the Council that imposed on every Christian to confess at least once every year.