JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives


MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives


MEDIEVAL-RELIGION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Home

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Home

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  October 2001

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION October 2001

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Peasant Piety]

From:

Richard Landes <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 16 Oct 2001 16:44:32 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (118 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

At 03:52 PM 10/16/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
>At 08:39 AM 10/16/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>
>
>>Richard Landes <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> >in this context, allow me to reiterate my question: what evidence is
>>there for any real enthusiasm for christianity among the commoner lay classes
>>before the 11th century?
>>
>>I think it probably depends on how strict you are about your definition of
>>Christianity.

i'm reasonably capacious, and certainly not limited to the ecclesiastical
notions.  but i'm looking for evidence that people take the contents of xn
texts (esp biblical) seriously.  so relic cults that overlap heavily with
pagan sites and practices, are of less interest than the kind of "textual
communities" and apostolic movements that are prominent from the 11th cn
onward (brian stock).

>>Is it necessarily  what the hierarchy at any given moment
>>said that it was?

no.

>> From the time of Caesarius of Arles, the clergy were
>>constantly complaining about unseemly goings-on during the vigils of
>>saints's feasts and within the precincts of the church.

these cd or cd not be evidence of xn enthusiasm.  augustine complains about
such goings on, and it's clear that some of it is "pagan" in origin, some
of it a great veneration and enthusiasm for martyrs whose courage far
exceeded that of the current bishops (eg Donatist).  as i remember
Caesarius, and most early medieval writers, the complaints are that the
pagans/paysans/peasants are not xn enuf.  in the 11th cn, we hear of some
who "seem more pious than monks."

>>St. Boniface's
>>account of his troubles with  the two "eccentrics" Aldebert and Clement
>>(c. 743) suggests that people of all classes were sufficiently
>>christianised to be responsive to heresies.

Aldebert is a classic example of what Russell called "eccentrics" and Cohn
called millenarians.  False Christ of Bourges, Thiota, etc.  they popular
charismatics who use specifically xn discourses, and as such are good cases
for popular interest and enthusiasm, altho obviously some might feel that
their behavior was unbecoming a xn.

>>One of Charlemagne's early
>>decrees deals with bands of vagrants who wandered around naked, loaded
>>down with chains, saying that this was a penance of some sort. They were
>>obviously peasants, because the edict advises them to settle down and work
>>the land.

obviously commoners, it was the carolingian elites who felt they shd be
peasants. do you have a reference?  i know about the carolingian decrees
against the "letters from heaven"

>>The use of holy chrism as medicine and, apparently, as a means
>>to foil the ordeal is found in several capitularies.

that's "popular use" but not quite what i'd call popular enthusiasm.  they
may have been used in conjunction with other things that the audience for
these rituals took more seriously.

>>Around Vercelli in
>>the 10th century, peasants were baptising branches and pieces of turf in
>>order to establish a relation of godparenthood.  At the very beginning of
>>the 11 th c., Burchard of Worms describes the burial of dead infants who
>>had been baptized with wax replicas of consecrated bread and wine; infants
>>who had died without baptism were impaled with a stake driven into the
>>ground, to prevent them from doing harm.

this is what i wd call ritual syncretism.  interesting, but not the kind of
evidence i'm looking for, and which is so abundant after the 11th cn.

>         It seems to me that such practices imply that at least some
>peasants, or peasants in some areas, had internalised Chrisitianity as they
>understood it, and showed their devotion to the saints and the sacramentals
>of the Church in their own fashion - however much the ecclesiastical and
>civil authorities may have disapproved.

or approved.  i think some of this fit into the rubric of the kind of
"compromises" with local practices that gregory suggested.  in any case, it
is not so much evidence of an embrace of a specific xn message as a use of
xn symbols and rituals to accomplish standard quotidien goals (health,
fertility, protection).  few signs of apostolicity or the demotic
religiosity of the capuciati, for example.

part of my question is this: there's plenty of evidence of deep hostility
to xnty on the part of the locals (eg Bede's story in the life of Cuthbert
about the monks driven out to sea and the rustici cheering "because they
took away the old ways and now no one knows what to do...") and little for
any real enthusiasm, so it seems like a "nominal" conversion for quite a
while.  the earliest evidence i find for widespread interest in and
acceptance of xnty among peasant populations is the late 10 early 11th cn.
anything earlier?  or can we speak of an 11th cn "conversion" of
(north)western europe?

>Bernadette Filotas

richard landes

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site:
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JISCMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996


WWW.JISCMAIL.AC.UK

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager