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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 1217: The Borders of Religion, I: Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Wednesday 8 July 2020, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Conor O'Brien, Churchill College, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Mayke de Jong, Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht
Paper 1217-aCivis and Civitas on Earth and in Heaven: Citizenship Discourses in the Sermons of Augustine, Maximus of Turin, and Peter of Ravenna
(Language: English)
Merel de Bruin-van de Beek, Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Religious Life, Sermons and Preaching
Paper 1217-bSecularising Strategies in the 7th-Century West
(Language: English)
Conor O'Brien, Churchill College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Language and Literature - Celtic, Religious Life
Paper 1217-cOn the Borders of the City of God: Reading and Using Augustine's De civitate Dei in the Carolingian Era
(Language: English)
Josh Timmermann, Department of History University of British Columbia
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Religious Life

We often take it for granted that something called 'religion' existed in the past, distinct from other aspects of human behaviour. A growing body of work, however, rejects the existence of 'religion' before modernity, warning against the anachronistic importation of the borders between religion and the secular into earlier periods. These sessions explore whether medieval people drew boundaries around religion and how the conceptual borders they did draw might relate to the modern religion/secular divide. Paper-a examines Christian patristic authors' use of the language of citizenship; Paper-b shows how 7th-century Westerners could deploy 'secularizing' strategies; Paper-c explores manuscripts of Augustine's De Civitate Dei to reveal the broad contours of Carolingian 'religion'.