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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 1039: 'Till Death Do Us Part': Medieval Hermits, Dying, and 'Death' to the World

Wednesday 5 July 2023, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Cartusiana
Organisers:Tom Gaens, Faculteit der Letteren, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Stephen J. Molvarec, Department of History, Marquette University, Wisconsin
Moderator/Chair:Emilia Jamroziak, Institute for Medieval Studies / School of History, University of Leeds
Paper 1039-a'Knock, Knock': Brushes with Death in the Carthusian Cell
(Language: English)
Millicent-Rose Newis, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 1039-bPorta caeli?: Interment, Networks, and Death at the Parisian Carthusian Charterhouse
(Language: English)
Stephen J. Molvarec, Department of History, Marquette University, Wisconsin
Index terms: Monasticism, Politics and Diplomacy, Religious Life
Paper 1039-c'In between two deaths': The Monstruous and the Sublime in Later Medieval Carthusian Life
(Language: English)
Tom Gaens, Faculteit der Letteren, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Index terms: Monasticism, Religious Life
Abstract

St Paul wrote to the Galatians of a death to the world, often read as fuga mundi. Death - symbolic and actual - was omnipresent in eremitical life. Sometimes, as in the case of 12th-century Italian women hermits, monastics moved in and out of enclosure (i.e., 'monastic death') on account of pressure from male communities and churchmen. Symbolic 'death' was one thing, preparing for actual death while living an enclosed life - as did the Carthusians Richard Methley and John Blacman - was another. Increasingly, too, Parisian Carthusians welcomed interment of non-members in their monasteries, with a mid-13th-century elimination of the prohibition on such practices. Eremitical life was bracketed by dying from the moment of entrance until the time of physical expiration. A hermit's life, too, was surrounded continually by thoughts and reminders of death.