Tag Archives: monasticism

CFP: “In Search of the Desert: New Observations on the Late-Medieval Revival of the Eremitic Life,” ICMS 2019 (Deadline 15 October, 2018)

In Search of the Desert: New Observations on the Late-Medieval Revival of the Eremitic Life

54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Oct 15, 2018
Organizers: Denva Gallant (University of Delaware) and Amelia Hope-Jones (University of Edinburgh)

In the third and fourth centuries AD, the barren deserts of Egypt, Syria and Palestine P1000332witnessed the birth of Christian monastic life among saints who came to be known as the Desert Fathers. The heroic self-discipline and devoted ascetic endeavors of St Antony the Abbot, St Paul of Thebes and St Macarius, among others, became emblematic of an original and authentic form of the religious life. This eremitic tradition, transmitted to the west through hagiography and ascetic literature, exerted a profound influence over the formation of western monastic life in the fifth and sixth centuries, and continued to function as an ideological authority well into the late medieval period and beyond.

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CFP: Byzantine Heritage in the History and Spiritual Culture of Ukraine, 19 – 22 October 2017, Monastery of St Theodore Studites, Rome, Italy

Culture of Ukraine, October 19 – 22, 2017, Monastery of St Theodore Studites,
Rome, Italy.
Deadline: 25th August 2017.
The International Conference Byzantine heritage in the history and spiritual culture of
Ukraine aims to become a platform for the sharing of knowledge. The conference will
involve the systematic discussion and promotion of the following themes:
  • Byzantine spiritual heritage in the history of Ukraine-Rus’ and Eastern churches of the Kievan tradition
  • the role and influence of the Byzantine Empire in the formation of Ukrainian national identity
  • spiritual culture
  • publishing and literature
  • art
  • theological and philosophical thought
  • religious traditions
and more.
Suggested topics for the conference:
1. Byzantium – Kievan Rus: historical, spiritual and cultural interconnection.
2. Byzantine hesychasm in the tradition of monasticism, and in the culture and
spiritual life of Ukraine-Rus’.
3. The Byzantine Fathers of the Church and the distribution of their books in
4. Byzantine heritage in literature, art, theological and philosophical
thought, in liturgical science and in the church tradition of Ukraine.
5. “Studion” and its role in reviving the Byzantine Stoudite tradition of the Greek
Catholic Church (contribution by Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky and Patriarch
Josyph Slipyj).
6. Byzantine heritage in the traditions of modern Ukrainian monasticism.
7. The current state of Byzantines in Ukraine.
Working languages of the conference: Ukrainian, English, Italian.
The organizers will provide free accommodation and meals for participants during
the conference. There are plans to publish the results of the conference in the
scientific collection Sofia of Kiev: Byzantium. Russia. Ukraine.
The conference will allow for full-time and part-time participation.
How to apply:

The submission should indicate title of paper and author information (name,
surname, academic degree, title or position, address, home or mobile phone, email,

The e-mail address of the Organizing Committee is tnu-pres@ukr.net

CFP: Treasure in heaven, treasures on Earth: the secular world and material consumption in Western European monasticism c.1050 – c. 1250, 21-23rd September 2016, Hatfield College, Durham University

bernhard_von_clairvaux_28initiale-b29CALL FOR PAPERS
Treasure in heaven, treasures on Earth: the secular world and material consumption in Western European monasticism c.1050 – c. 1250
21-23rd September 2016, Hatfield College, Durham University
Deadline: 1st
June 2016

Abstracts are invited for a conference entitled ‘Treasure in heaven, treasures on Earth: the secular world and material consumption in Western European monasticism c.1050 – c. 1250’ to be held 21-23rd September 2016 at the University of Durham. All are encouraged to submit, from graduate students to established staff, and from all disciplines.

This conference will explore ideas of monastic practice and rhetoric towards the social and material world, both within and outside the cloister. Both individual monks and their communities engaged with the secular world, whether driven by necessity or by their own impetus, despite the perceived dangers of interactions with lay society and their values. This period saw the unprecedented amassing of material wealth by monastic communities, closer interaction with lay society alongside increasing divisions in the interpretation of St. Benedict’s Rule, especially in the sphere of wealth and its appropriate use. How monks endeavoured to maintain their adherence to monastic expectations in this new atmosphere is the chief concern of this conference. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Monastic dealings with money, offering, usury and communal wealth.
  • Monks as landlords and secular lords.
  • The rule of St. Benedict and the practicalities of life in the medieval monastery.
  • Monks as builders and patrons of construction.
  • Monks and their relationships with women and the secular social hierarchy.
  • Monks and earthly goods.
  • Monastic theological approaches to the relationship between the monk and the world.

Transcending disciplinary boundaries, this conference aims to bring together scholars working on all aspects of monastic life and thought in order to examine the various ways that monks in Western Europe from the mid-eleventh to the mid-thirteenth century approached and interacted with the world around them. Papers are encouraged which deal with all areas of medieval western Europe, including Scandinavia.

Prospective speakers are invited to submit abstracts of 200-300 words. Submissions should include name, affiliation, and contact details. The deadline for submissions is: 1st June 2016. Subsidies will be available for postgraduate delegates.

For more information about the conference, to join the conference mailing list or to submit an abstract, please email the committee at: treasure.in.heaven@durham.ac.uk

More information: https://treasureinheavenconference.wordpress.com/

Reading, Scholarship and the Art of the Book at Reading Abbey (Reading University, 17 April 2015)

K151514[1]Reading University, Henley Business School, Whiteknights Campus, Room G10

17 April 2015, from 10am
Cost: £15 (including coffee, lunch, tea and wine); £10 for students and unwaged. Please register by contacting GCMS@reading.ac.uk.


10.00 registration and welcome

10.15-11.15 – Session 1:

Lindy Grant (Reading); ‘Reading Abbey in a cultural and intellectual, international context’.

Tessa Webber (Cambridge); ‘Reading in the Refectory at Reading Abbey’.

11.15-11.45 – coffee

11.45-13.15 – Session 2:

Michael Gullick (independent scholar); ‘Reflections on the Reading Abbey Romanesque Book

Collections and Documents’.

Laura Cleaver (Dublin); ‘History Books at Reading and Bec’.

Anne Lawrence (Reading); ‘The Reading Abbey computus manuscript and its context’.

13.15-14.30 – lunch

14.30-15.30 – Session 3:

Nigel Morgan (Cambridge); ‘The Calendar and Litany of Reading Abbey’.

Cyndy Johnston (London); ‘“In the custom of this country”: The Transmigration of Bolognese

Decorative Style in Thirteenth-Century Oxford and Reading Abbey Manuscripts’.

15.30-16.00 – tea

16.00-17.00 – Session 4:

Catherine Leglu (Reading); ‘An Anglo-Norman translation of the Bible at Reading Abbey: London BL Royal 1 C III’.

Brian Kemp (Reading); ‘The Reading Abbey Formulary’.

17.00 – closing remarks and update on the Reading Abbey ruins; followed by wine reception.

Call for Papers: Monastic Sciences: Medicina, Mechanica, Philosophia (Leeds University, 8-9 May 2015)

Personification of Geometry teaching students (BL Burney 275 f. 293r.)

Personification of Geometry teaching students (BL Burney 275 f. 293r.)

The religious of medieval Europe were in a privileged position for studying humanity’s interaction with the natural world, whether this was considering the nature of celestial bodies and the cosmos, or deepening their pharmaceutical knowledge to aid patients in the infirmary. This conference asks what unique contributions the religious made to the applied arts and learned disciplines, how their religious vocation coloured their observations, and how this knowledge was applied to their community and wider society. We seek papers on the following areas:

The place within religious life of medicine, technology, philosophy and natural philosophy

Development of medical theory and practical care in religious communities

The definition and legitimisation of learned arts, e.g. magic and alchemy

Material culture and archaeology of artes medicinae/mechanicae within religious life

Representation of activity pertaining to natural philosophy in religious manuscripts and art

Religious conception and expression of humanity’s relationship with the non-human world

Comparison of medieval religious and secular understanding of scientia, medicina, artes mechanicae, philosophia, philosophia naturalis, physica.

Encouragement and promotion to study artes of any kind within religious communities

Reception and diffusion of ars medicina/mechanica/magica/philosopha/physica within religious communities

Historiography of medicine, “sciences” and the natural world within medieval religious life

We are also delighted to announce our keynote speakers: Prof. Peregrine Horden (Royal Holloway), who will discuss religious life and medicine, and Dr Sophie Page (UCL) who will explore magic as a learned discipline within monastic life.

This event will be held over two days at the University of Leeds. We welcome contributions from postgraduates and early-career researchers of all disciplinary backgrounds. Interested parties should send a 300 word abstract for a twenty minute paper to leeds.monasticism@gmail.com.

Alternative proposals for one-hour sessions, such as joint papers or panelled debates, are most welcome. Proposals should be submitted no later than 27th February 2015. For more information please see leedsmonasticismconference.wordpress.com.

CFP: Monastic Europe, Landscape and Settlement (Ennis, 22-25 August 2015)

Call for Papers:
Monastic Europe: Landscape and Settlement. International Conference
Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland, 22-25 August 2015 
Deadline: 28 November 2014

The Irish Research Council-funded Monastic Ireland: Landscape and Settlement project is a research partnership between the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, Trinity College Dublin, the Discovery Programme and the Department of History, University College Cork. The project is examining the unusually well preserved remains of late medieval monastic buildings in Ireland within their broader European context, with a particular emphasis on their architecture and impact on the landscape around them.

The project team is pleased to announce an international conference, to be held 22-25 August in Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland. Located in an area rich with the medieval buildings of the European monastic orders, the conference will balance sessions of papers with a number of site visits, and will stimulate a focused academic debate on the impact of monasticism in shaping the development of the physical environment across Europe between c. 1100 and c. 1700. Conference themes will include:

– The topography of medieval monastic settlement (1100-1700) in both urban and rural environments
– The impact of Church reforms on the physical structures and landscapes of monastic foundations
– Monastic space (liturgical, social, and architectural aspects)
– Patronage networks
– Architecture and identities
– Written sources for understanding the monastic environment

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers exploring this theme across the stated time span, throughout Europe. Papers may deal with either case studies or broader methodological questions, and are not limited to delivery in the English language.

Proposals for posters are also welcomed from doctoral students and early career scholars, and the conference organisers hope to have small subsidies available for accommodation costs>

Please send an email containing both your proposed title and an abstract of no more than 300 words to Dr Rachel Moss at rmoss@tcd.ie. If you intend for apply for a conference subsidy please indicate this on your proposal. Deadline for proposals is Friday, 28 November, 2104.

CFP: RSA-Session ‘Artists in Habits’ (Berlin, 26-28 March 2015)

RSA-Session ‘Artists in Habits’ 
Berlin, 26-28 March 2015
Deadline: 10 June 2014

This panel seeks papers that explore the dual identities of artists who were members of a religious order. More than fifteen years since seminal studies on the “frate-dipintore” by William Hood and Megan Holmes, on Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi respectively, we ask how scholarship on monastic-artistic occupations has evolved.


Are we closer to understanding if, and if so how, these artist’s personal piety or theological training informed their painterly approach? Did their allegiance to a specific order give rise to iconographies reflecting the spirituality of that order? Is there evidence that they were sought by patrons specifically because of their spiritual ‘purity’? Did their status allow access to religious spaces that ordinary artists could not enter? How did religious institutions make use of the talents of their artist members? And overall, is this even a valid area of enquiry?

The panel invites proposals from scholars wishing to re-address canonical monastic artists as well as those who hope to shine a light on lesser known monk/friar/nun artists.

Please send an abstract (150 words) and a CV (1 page) by June 10 to Joost Joustra (Courtauld Institute of Art, joost.joustra@courtauld.ac.uk) and Laura Llewellyn (Courtauld Institute of Art, laura.llewellyn@courtauld.ac.uk)