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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

see:
A. Vauchez, « Aux origines du régime représentatif : les ordres religieux en 
Occident, de Cîteaux aux Frères mendiants », dans Au Cloître et dans le 
monde. Femmes, hommes et sociétés (IXe-XVe siècle), Mélanges en l'honneur de 
P. L'Hermite-Leclercq, textes réunis par P. Henriet et A.-M. Legras, Paris, 
PUPS, 2000, p. 143-149.

db
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dr. Gordon Arthur" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2005 1:34 PM
Subject: Re: [M-R] religious orders and general chapters


medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

On Fri, 4 Feb 2005 06:54:05 -0500, you wrote:

>medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
>Dear all,
>A friend and colleague who is an economist has asked me for references 
>about
>the organization of the medieval church, particularly the development of
>what he wonders are early hints of "democratic procedures". I include his
>query to me below, and ask that you might help me with appropriate
>recommendations to him as to what to read.
>Many thanks
>Cecilia
>
>
>"I'm looking for information on the organization of the medieval church,
>especially the religious orders. I've seen hints that they pioneered
>democratic procedures (majority voting, rules of order, etc). Also the 
>Cluny
>reforms seem to have established a system of tighter administrative control
>over individual houses that may have been a model for later secular
>administrations. Any suggestions?"
>
>M.C.Gaposchkin, Ph.D.
>History, Dartmouth College

I've been watching this with interest, and while I don't have any further
suggestions for reading, I do have a couple of questions:

1.      What exactly is meant here by democratic? As far as I'm aware, 
nothing
approaching either the ancient Greek concepts of democracy or their modern
developments (rule by the people, perhaps through delegates, for either the
common good or the benefit of those ruling at any given time) was present
in the Church in any important degree between Constantine's conversion and
the Reformation. Even after this, the Reformation Churches stressed the
need to seek the Holy Spirit, who could speak through the least as easily
as the greatest, rather than to do what they liked.

2.      While these procedures may have been an innovation within Religious
communities, were they actually new in the Church? At first sight (and I
don't pretend to any expertise on this matter), the procedure seems quite
similar to the ancient practice of electing bishops, who constituted a
college to resolve disputed matters and to run the Churches.

Gordon

-------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Gordon Arthur    | Orthodoxy  is my  doxy;  heterodoxy is
[log in to unmask] | another man's doxy. (Bishop Warburton)
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                  http://www.ecumenist.org/
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