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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 253: Authority and Consent in Religious Communities, II: The 12th and 13th Centuries

Monday 6 July 2020, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (FOVOG), Technische Universität Dresden / Department of Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb
Organiser:Daniela Bianca Hoffmann, Historisches Institut, Universität Mannheim
Moderator/Chair:Gert Melville, Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte (FOVOG), Technische Universität Dresden
Paper 253-aTowards the Rule of Law: Consensus and Authority in the Formation of Religious Orders, 12th and 13th Centuries
(Language: English)
Marko Jerković, Department of Croatian Studies University of Zagreb
Index terms: Law, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 253-bFrom Command to Consent: The Prior and the Order of Grandmont in the 12th Century
(Language: English)
Daniela Bianca Hoffmann, Historisches Institut, Universität Mannheim
Index terms: Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 253-cAuthority and Consent: Decision-Making in the Order of St William
(Language: English)
Jörg Sonntag, Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig / Technische Universität, Dresden
Index terms: Monasticism, Religious Life

During the institutional formation of the religious orders (12th-13th c.), the structure and understanding of monastic authority were redefined. The most important influence in this process was the Cistercian model of shared responsibility in government and consensus in decision-making about all spiritual, organizational, and normative issues. Instead of the early medieval ideal of dominance and obedience, the rule of an impersonal law enacted by means of consent emerged as the most adequate framework in which all the principles of the vita religiosa should be placed. Paper-a of this session discusses primarily Cistercians, Dominicans, and Cluniacs and shows how consensus was performed to sustain the 'rule of law' and how paradigmatic changes concerning authority were legitimized. The second paper-b focuses on the Order of Grandmont that did not follow the Cistercian model at first, but had to institutionalize the principle of consensus in legislation due to a severe crisis within the order. Lastly, paper-c provides new insights into the processes of decision-making within the extremely heterogeneous Order of St William that struggled to keep its coherence.