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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 638: The Boundaries of Monastic Institutions, II

Tuesday 7 July 2020, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Forschungsgruppe 'Religion & Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations' / Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien, Universität Erfurt
Organiser:Simone Wagner, Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien Universität Erfurt
Moderator/Chair:Simone Wagner, Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien Universität Erfurt
Paper 638-aMonks without Borders?: Invisible Walls in Eastern Mediterranean Monastic Contexts, 4th-12th Centuries
(Language: English)
Norman Wetzig, Archäologisches Institut Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Index terms: Archaeology - Sites, Monasticism
Paper 638-bIntangible Boundaries: Sound and Sacred Space in the Early Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Nicole Volmering, Department of Irish & Celtic Languages, Trinity College Dublin
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Celtic, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 638-cProtecting the Boundaries: South-West German Monasteries in the 11th and 12th Centuries
(Language: English)
Johannes Waldschütz, Stadtmuseum und Archiv, Stockach
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Historiography - Medieval, Monasticism, Religious Life

Monasteries usually secluded themselves from the world by building walls around their institutions. These walls did not only have a religious meaning but also a legal and administrative one. The physical aspect was tied to imagined boundaries being created between the religious and the secular. Imagined and physical boundaries interacted. Nevertheless, it varied how much religious communities sought to isolate themselves. The relationship between the religious and the secular sphere was highly contested throughout the middle ages. Especially in the case of less regulated communities, the boundaries were permeable and space was used both by religious as well as secular actors. Since enclosure was seen as especially important for female monasteries, monastic boundaries and their permeability seem to have been gendered. However, apart from spiritual matters monasteries were also concerned about the boundaries of their possessions. Charters and cartularies include detailed descriptions of the boundaries of specific possessions. Chronicles and vitae show how nuns and monks hoped to protect their possessions through performative acts such as processions with relics.