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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 1732: Debating Identities, Creating Communities: Materialities of Female Monastic Reform in the Medieval West, III - Debating (Religious) Identities

Thursday 4 July 2019, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Religion & Society in the Early & Central Middle Ages (ReSoMa) / Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Gent
Organisers:Julie Hotchin, School of History, Australian National University, Canberra
Jirki Thibaut, Vakgroep Geschiedenis, Universiteit Gent / KU Leuven
Moderator/Chair:Julie Hotchin, School of History, Australian National University, Canberra
Paper 1732-aRelocating Cistercian Communities: Cistercian Nuns in the North Italian City of Pavia in the 13th Century
(Language: English)
Elena Vanelli, Historisches Seminar, Universit├Ąt Hamburg
Index terms: Gender Studies, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 1732-bWomen, Men, and Local Monasticism
(Language: English)
Sherri Johnson, Department of History, Louisiana State University
Index terms: Gender Studies, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 1732-cMinding the Gap: The Formation and Disaggregation of a Benedictine-Cisterician Alliance at Ghislenghien
(Language: English)
John Glasenapp, Department of Music, Columbia University
Index terms: Gender Studies, Liturgy, Monasticism, Music

Research in the last two decades has reoriented our understanding of how reform occurred in female monasticism, alongside the tremendous progress into understanding the contingent nature of monastic reform. This includes research into the visual, material, and manuscript cultures of female communities that has demonstrated how women religious employed various media to creatively reflect, individually and collectively, on their institutional and spiritual orientation. Nevertheless, despite the considerable merits of these studies, the main narrative is still primarily based on textual sources. Drawing on the material culture of reform, these three sessions will offer new interpretations into the processes and expressions of institutional, liturgical and spiritual change within female religious communities over the period c. 950-1500, extending narratives based primarily on textual sources.

In the third and last session, speakers consider the debates of women religious to (re)shape their communal identity as expressed in material and manuscript collections. Elena Vanelli examines the interaction between processes of change and the localized social context of institutional reform in Cistercian female communities in 13th-century Lombardy. Sherri Johnson offers an instructive case study of the processes of regularisation of religious life among male and female communities in late medieval Bologna. Finally, John Glasenapp examines evidence of liturgical performances in female Cistercian abbeys in the southern Low Countries to reveal how reformist ideals were spread and adopted through local networks.