CFP: EPISCOPUS sessions at Leeds International Medieval Congress
Event Date: 6-9 July 2015
Event Location: Leeds, England, UK
Submission Deadline: 12 Sept 2014
EPISCOPUS is organizing several sessions for Leeds 2015, some of which are included below.
- The Bishop’s Eye and EPISCOPUS are interested in co-organising a panel on reform and renewal in the diocese of Lincoln. In keeping with the Bishop’s Eye rationale we are particularly interested in thinking about how reform and renewal intersected with other aspects of religious men’s identities (social status, gender, membership of particular orders, ethnicity, location etc). We are continuing to think of ‘religious men’ in a broad sense (i.e. monks/clerics and laymen) and would welcome papers from any medieval period and field. Papers could also consider men’s involvement with the reform of women/female orders. But we would encourage you to interpret these fairly general headings as you think best in relation to your own research!We hope to be able to put together sessions made up of papers dealing with comparative contexts and/or methodological approaches. We may decide to have respondents to some of the sessions, and are also planning to propose a round table. Please submit offers of papers by 12 September 2014. At this stage a title and a few sentences summarising the subject matter of the paper is sufficient. Proposals may be submitted to: Katherine J. Lewis, MA, DPhil, FHEA, FRHistS Senior Lecturer in History, Acting Research Co-ordinator
- EPISCOPUS is sponsoring a session on “Methodological Frontiers in Medieval Church Reform and Renewal”Medieval reformers knew no boundaries in their attempts to renew their fellow Christians’ devotions to the Church. Modern researchers similarly push the boundaries of scholarship as they wrestle with questions of reform in their own work. Sometimes, that takes the form of experimentation with digital methodologies. In other cases, it means a revisiting well-known documents with new perspectives and new questions. This panel will feature speakers who have self-consciously applied methodologies and technologies to historical sources and debates concerning reform. From distant reading and data mining, to manuscript studies that question current transmission accounts, to reform accounts that tie several reform periods together, the goal of these papers is to challenge established explanatory paradigms of reform and renewal in the medieval church by stretching the geographic, temporal, and methodological frontiers of medieval reform scholarship. Please submit offers of papers by 12 September 2014. At this stage, a title and a few sentences summarising the subject matter of the paper is sufficient, although a 250-word abstract is ideal. Proposals should be submitted to: Kalani Craig, PhD (Hutton Honors College, Indiana University, email@example.com)
- Finally, EPISCOPUS is sponsoring a session on “Reforming and re-negotiating celibacy, purity and masculinity”
Recent work has questioned how we should imagine ‚reform‘ in the context of medieval religious history. We need to pay closer attention to the interrelation of different processes, actor constellations and portrayals of reform, as both longer reform processes, rewriting of ongoing reforms and recurring re-negotiations of the same themes are visible. One theme which recurs in various waves of religious reform and debate and thus shows many interconnected strands of reform is debate about bodily purity and sexual asceticism of religious elites, realized in forms of priestly celibacy or religious/monastic chastity and virginity. The link between gender and authority not only made it a prime arena of debate in reforms of pastoral care. Re-negotiations of the topic also seem to occur in connection with various situations of competition between different religious elites, and purity and chastity seem to be qualities which were debated hotly (and controversially) among both scholarly elites and the laity. Debates about purity, chastity and celibacy not only intensified with eleventh-century church reform and the fight against ’Nicolaitism’, but also with clashes between heterodox and orthodox religious elites in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, between mendicant and clerical pastors from the thirteenth century onwards, as well as between Christian, Jewish and Islamic elites wherever power shifts unbalanced existing arrangements. While we witness some intense attempts of individuals or groups to enforce celibacy, chastity or purity as a form of gendered religious identity, other debates seem to make polemical use of a growing arsenal of topoi which became embedded in traditions of clerical reform or of clerical, monastic or mendicant education.
Yet most of these arenas of the reform of masculine religious identity are studied separately. The session aims to take a closer look at reform debates about celibacy, chastity, and masculine identity, and to study how they connect to reform movements and changing patterns of religious diversity. Scholars working on relevant fields are invited to submit abstracts, which might focus on
- the use and importance of debates about chastity and celibacy in situations of reform, especially as a topic contested between scholarly and lay opinion
- the re-use of established ideals of chastity, purity and masculinity
- the embedding of such ideals in polemical or didactic traditions.
Please submit abstracts to Sita Steckel, firstname.lastname@example.org, by 12 Sept 2014.