Call for Papers for Thematic Session – ICM Leeds 2016 – THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND CHURCH BISHOPS AND THEIR COMMUNITIES IN THE CAROLINGIAN ERA (8th-10th c.)
The Carolingian ecclesiastical reform movement (or rather: correctio) of the eighth
and ninth centuries was concerned with the improvement of the ecclesia as a whole,
the ultimate goal of which was the salvation of every individual subject of the
Frankish realms. Between these two levels, those involved in the debates about
correctio quickly discovered that, among the many details that needed to be
hammered out and adapted to the circumstances of the budding empire, the
demarcation of religious communities was still very much an open question. What
exactly constituted a “monastic” community vis-à-vis its “canonical” counterpart?
Should male and female communities be treated differently? Or, even more
generally, how could such communities be embedded within the larger framework of the ecclesia?
This session strand for the 2016 edition of the IMC aims to address these
questions from a range of contemporary perspectives, and to examine what was at
stake in this programme of correctio. This could be approached either as a top-down
process emanating from the court and stretching to the bishops entrusted to
implement its orders, or from a ground-level perspective in order to see how, where,
when – or even if – distinctions between priests, monks, canonical clergy, and their
female counterparts (where applicable) manifested themselves in different ideas
about religious communities in the period. In other words: this session strand aims to
shed light on the way bishops would act as middlemen trying to navigate between
the ideal of correctio and the actual, everyday practice of exercising their ministry.
Within this broad frame, potential subjects could include both the way
(arch)bishops, abbots or even kings and popes grappled with the responsibility of
maintaining order between the communities under their aegis, or the way such
communities would respond to the initiatives taken by those higher up in the
hierarchy. We encourage papers dealing with a range of sources: idealistic
compositions such as the Institutio Canonicorum, practical documents such as charters
de- or prescribing “reforms”, liturgical texts, and reflective treatises ranging from
commentaries on the Rule of Benedict, to the many hagiographical texts that were
composed in the wake of the correctio-movement.
Should this topic interest you, please send your title and an abstract (around
250 words) to Rutger Kramer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to Graeme Ward
(email@example.com) by Monday 24 August. We look forward to reading
your proposals, and are of course happy to answer any remaining questions you may
Unfortunately, we are unable to cover travel, registration and accommodation expenses for speakers. For information on the bursary offered by the IMC, see https://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2016_call.html.
Organised by SFB Visions of Community (F42)and the Network for the Study of Late Antique and Early Medieval Monasticism.