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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 721: Entanglements of Religious Practices and Narrative Networks in the Medieval Christian World

Tuesday 4 July 2023, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Cosima Gillhammer, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Paper 721-aAnti-Judaism and Early Medieval Monastic Reform: A Case of Entangled Discourses?
(Language: English)
Hannah W. Matis, Department of Church History, Virginia Theological Seminary
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Monasticism
Paper 721-bThe Medieval Narrative of the Lustful Heretic and the Reformers: An (Unconscious) Entanglement
(Language: English)
Aneke Dornbusch, Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Religious Life, Sexuality, Theology
Paper 721-cClarissan Networks and Observant Entanglements: An Investigation on the 15th-Century Rediscovery of the Rule of St Clare
(Language: English)
Andrea Mancini, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Gender Studies, Monasticism, Religious Life

Paper -a:
In my research on the exegesis of the Song of Songs, I noted the intensifying of anti-Jewish rhetoric in certain, although not all Carolingian exegetes, and in those biblical scholars, such as Robert of Tombelaine, associated with the Gregorian Reform. In this paper, I will examine further how monastic reformers in particular employed rhetorical and polarising discourses identifying the enemies of the church, in which Jews figured as prominent targets. This language must also be understood in relation to political events, such as the Carolingian civil war under Louis the Pious. In this light, I will compare anti-Jewish language employed by Agobard with Theodulf of Orléans, Hrabanus Maurus, and Paschasius Radbertus, and compare this with Gregorian rhetoric employed by Robert and Peter Damian.

Paper -b
During the medieval period, religious dissidence was commonly connected with the accusation of sexual misconduct, in folklore but also in heresy trials. With the Reformation this logic seemed to falter, as the reformers had new ideas about the freedom of conscience and sexuality. But in the end, the old tale of the sexual unbehaved heretic took hold again and was used against groups such as the Anabaptists. The Reformers were more medieval in their mindset than they thought. This paper aims to present the entanglement of the Reformers in the medieval picture of the heretic as the 'missing link' between medieval and modern religious persecution.

Paper -c:
This paper investigates the 15th-century observant reform within the order of St Clare, and the relation of the Clarisses with the male observant movement of the Franciscan Order. The question I will try to answer concerns the when and how the rule of St Clare became entangled with the ideal of the return to the pristine traditions of the observant reformers. Was the adoption of the rule of St Clare considered a privileged means to reform the order, as is recounted in later chroniclers and documents; or was it only one of several other aspects of reform?