This Special Issue of Religions aims to expand the modern understanding of “medieval monasticism” by looking at the flexibility of medieval representations of the monastic life. Beginning in late antiquity and continuing throughout the medieval period, monastic identities were subject to continuous definition and redefinition. This took place for individuals, for whole communities, and at the level of entire movements, congregations, and orders. The results can be found in identity accounts that were embedded in narrative texts, rules, iconographic representations, clothing, arrangements of space, and a wide range of other forms. These accounts of self deserve attention, and scholars are invited to consider them with respect to the following four areas. One is that of an author’s, artist’s, designer’s, builder’s, etc. perception and representation of the distinctive nature of his or her particular strand of monastic life. The second is the relationship of these identity accounts to the specific ideological, cultural, socio-economic, and institutional contexts in which they were created. The third area is the impact of identity accounts and practices on subsequent perceptions within a particular community, congregation, or order. And finally, there is the question of how these narratives helped establish clear conceptual or practice-based boundaries with other forms of monastic life and with the “secular world” in general. For this Special Issue, prospective authors are invited to submit studies on any of the four themes above, with particular attention to how their findings relate to (and possibly correct) the modern understanding of monastic identities and boundaries. The ultimate aim is to help with developing a more flexible, dynamic, and less-unified understanding of medieval monasticism as a spiritual, social, and institutional phenomenon.
Prof. Dr. Steven Vanderputten
- medieval monasticism
- narratives of identity
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 March 2021.
Special Issue Editor
Prof. Dr. Steven Vanderputten, Guest Editor
Department of History, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Interests: social and cultural history of the Latin West in the Early and Central Middle Ages; religious communities; monasticism; reform; collective identities; memory; gender
Manuscript Submission Information
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