IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 534: Nothing New!: Heritage, Memory, and Identity in the Middle Ages, I

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Centre for Religion & Heritage, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Organisers:Mathilde van Dijk, Faculteit der Godgeleerdheid en Godsdienstwetenschap, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Andrew J. M. Irving, Faculteit der Godgeleerdheid en Godsdienstwetenschap, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Moderator/Chair:Charlie Rozier, Durham University Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Respondent:Mathilde van Dijk, Faculteit der Godgeleerdheid en Godsdienstwetenschap, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Paper 534-aThe Saints of Northumbria and the Legacy of Bede in the 12th Century
(Language: English)
Lauren L. Whitnah, Marco Institute for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Index terms: Hagiography, Historiography - Medieval, Monasticism
Paper 534-bMonastic Legacy and Identity Formation in Ottonian Female Monastic Communities
(Language: English)
Jirki Thibaut, Vakgroep Geschiedenis, Universiteit Gent / KU Leuven
Index terms: Gender Studies, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 534-c'And St Augustine was her brother': Mnemonic Strategies and Hagiographic Heritage in the Sisterbooks of Diepenveen and Deventer
(Language: English)
Godelinde Gertrude Perk, Avdelningen för Humaniora, Mittuniversitets, Sundsvall
Index terms: Gender Studies, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Dutch, Religious Life

This is intended as the first of two proposed sessions. ‘They were the new monks… devout like Palestinians, obedient like Thebans, fervent like Egyptians, the disciples of the Antonies and Macariuses in the deep desert.’ This is how the regular canon Johannes Busch described the first brothers in his community at Windesheim. His quotation introduces what our two sessions are about: how people in the Middle Ages appropriated the past in order to create an identity for themselves. Busch claimed the Desert Fathers as well as the early brothers in his community as his direct forebears, arguing that his brothers imitated these to perfection. At the same time, he acknowledged that there were many differences between these and their great models. As far as he was concerned, a literal imitation was not the point. The Windesheimers had to find a way to imitate what the Desert Fathers were actually about: a total focus on God. This is session 1 of two sessions, which will address this dynamics of studying a past, claiming it and reworking it to serve as a model of contemporary identities as well as a model for imitation. More specifically, we would like to investigate how heritage studies, as performed by scholars such as De Certeau and Lowenthal from the 20th century, might be useful to understand these processes of reinventing oneself or – in the case of a new group or movement – even inventing themselves. How does memory work here? What is the connection between heritage and memory? This first session focuses on identity and memory in religious milieus.