[30 juin-1er juillet] Urban monasticism/ monachisme urbain : 300-1300


Date: 30th June-1st July 2017


CESCM – Hôtel Berthelot – 24 rue de la Chaine – Poitiers

Société des Antiquaires de l’Ouest – Hôtel de l’Échevinage et des Grandes Écoles – 7, rue Paul Guillon – Poitiers


in cooperation with

CESCM, Poitiers (France), CEU Budapest (Hungary), Turku University (Finland), Monash University (Australia), FOVOG Dresden (Germany)

Christianity emerged as an urban phenomenon, yet monasticism is more often than not presented as an escape from the sinful town into the wilderness, and as more concerned with the soul than with the body. Ascetics, however, have always had a vested interest in the city, and not only symbolically. Monasticism has been an important urban presence since Late Antiquity up to the Late Middle Ages, even if they were sometimes in competition with newer religious orders. This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore the influence of monasticism in the city from Late Antiquity to the Late Middle Ages as well as in shaping attitudes to the body. What was the social status of the “monastic family” in the towns (including the vassals who held the monastic lands on loan)? How did monasteries integrate into the social fabric of cities? What role did they play in care for the sick? What was the relation between consecrated persons and laity? What economic role did monasteries play in towns? How did monastic art, schools and scriptoria contribute to the life of the city? To what extent did monasteries, abbots and abbesses get involved in urban politics? How did urban monasteries shape urban identity?

We plan to publish the proceedings in one volume but in two languages.

A major goal of the workshop is to develop an international research network relating to new perspectives on monasticism and religious life within an urban context, attending to themes like that of the body, devotion and religious life in the city.


June 30 / CESCM, Salle Crozet

3 pm – registration

3:30 pm – Welcome speeches

4 pm – Lucien-Jean Bord O.S.B. (Ligugé) : Penser le moine et la ville dans l’Antiquité tardive et le haut Moyen Âge

4:30 pm – Marianne Sághy (Budapest) : Practicing and Prescribing Asceticism in Fourth-Century Rome

5 pm – Vincent Debiais (Poitiers) : Epigraphic Evidences from Urban Monastic Communities: the Example of Saint-André-le-Bas

5:30 pm: Cocktail

6 pm: Keynote lecture = Constant Mews (Melbourne) : Models of Monasticism and the City from Late Antiquity to the Age of Scholasticism

8 pm – dinner


July 1 / Société des Antiquaires de l’Ouest

10:30 am – Emilie Kurdziel (Poitiers) : Monastères et chapitres de chanoines dans les villes italiennes des IXe-XIe siècles : partage des fonctions ou concurrence ?

11 am – Kyly Walker (Monash) : Westminster Abbey in the Early Twelfth Century

11:30 am – Teemu Immonen (Turku) : Monastic Influences on Romanesque Art in Twelfth-Century Rome

12-2:30 pm – lunch break

2:30 pm –John Crossley (Monash) : Dancing in the Streets, Chanting in the Choir: Educating St-Denis Monks in Paris around 1300

3 pm – Carol Williams (Monash) : Educating St Denis Monks in Paris around 1300: the Music Pedagogy of MS Harley 281

3:30 pm – Riccardo Saccenti (Bologna) : Cistercians in Thirteenth-Century Paris: the Collège des Bernardins

4 pm – coffee break

4:30 pm – Keynote lecture = Cécile Treffort (Poitiers) : Hommes et femmes de Dieu en ville : l’exemple des établissements bénédictins de Poitiers au XIIe siècle