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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 509: Taming the Saints in the Early Middle Ages

Tuesday 4 July 2023, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Network for the Study of Late Antique & Early Medieval Monasticism
Organiser:Jim Walker, Historisches Seminar, Universität Zürich
Moderator/Chair:Anne-Marie Helvétius, amhelvetius@univ-paris8.fr
Paper 509-aGregory of Tours and His Holy Troublemakers
(Language: English)
Albrecht Diem, Department of History, Syracuse University, New York
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Religious Life
Paper 509-bGoing Rogue: Priests, Authority, and Cultic Innovation
(Language: English)
Yaniv Fox, Department of General History, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Liturgy
Paper 509-cDubious Priests and Wild Hermits: Taming the Rural Clergy
(Language: English)
Jim Walker, Historisches Seminar, Universität Zürich
Index terms: Hagiography, Religious Life, Social History
Abstract

As Christianity grew in popularity among rural communities in Merovingian Gaul, bishops were increasingly faced with a challenging question: how would they control the spread of Christianity and oversee its local agents without alienating the trust of the faithful? What to do with saints of dubious origins and self-proclaimed holy men who inspire local communities? A careful reading of hagiographic sources and conciliar decisions invites us to reconsider the relationship between bishops and local clergy against the background of significant tensions surrounding religious authority. Our session will address these questions by focusing in turn on holy figures, rural priests, and hermits.