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From scandal to monastic penance: a reconciliatory manuscript from the early twelfth-century abbey of St. Laurent in Liège

Tjamke Snijders (UGent) and Steven Vanderputten (UGent)
(2013) CHURCH HISTORY. 83(3). p.523-553
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Abstract
An important element of monastic penance and conflict resolution was its repetitive, almost cyclical nature. The manuscripts that were used during these performances often proceed implicitly, which makes them difficult to contextualize and understand. This article considers a possible example of such "hidden" reconciliatory discourse in a manuscript that was produced for the congregation of St. Laurent in Liege around the turn of the eleventh century: Brussels, Royal Library 9361-9367. It examines the sin of pride in monastic dignitaries, discusses the best way to atone for it, and provides tools for the penitent to start living a more virtuous life in the future. The surviving evidence suggests that this manuscript was produced in reaction to the deeds of abbot Berenger, whose actions in 1095 were considered scandalous by contemporaries because he had led his monks into confusion and sin. The article shows how the combination of texts in this manuscript takes on a different meaning because of these politically charged circumstances, and argues that the St. Laurent manuscript was a discreet but methodical way to end the resulting estrangement between Berenger and his monks. In this interpretation, Brussels RL 9361-9367 is a rare and highly relevant testimony to the ways in which monks in the early twelfth century dealt with psychological and social tensions in the wake of an intra-group conflict.

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Chicago
Snijders, Tjamke, and Steven Vanderputten. 2013. “From Scandal to Monastic Penance: a Reconciliatory Manuscript from the Early Twelfth-century Abbey of St. Laurent in Liège.” Church History 83 (3): 523–553.
APA
Snijders, T., & Vanderputten, S. (2013). From scandal to monastic penance: a reconciliatory manuscript from the early twelfth-century abbey of St. Laurent in Liège. CHURCH HISTORY, 83(3), 523–553.
Vancouver
1.
Snijders T, Vanderputten S. From scandal to monastic penance: a reconciliatory manuscript from the early twelfth-century abbey of St. Laurent in Liège. CHURCH HISTORY. 2013;83(3):523–53.
MLA
Snijders, Tjamke, and Steven Vanderputten. “From Scandal to Monastic Penance: a Reconciliatory Manuscript from the Early Twelfth-century Abbey of St. Laurent in Liège.” CHURCH HISTORY 83.3 (2013): 523–553. Print.
@article{3060272,
  abstract     = {An important element of monastic penance and conflict resolution was its repetitive, almost cyclical nature. The manuscripts that were used during these performances often proceed implicitly, which makes them difficult to contextualize and understand. This article considers a possible example of such {\textacutedbl}hidden{\textacutedbl} reconciliatory discourse in a manuscript that was produced for the congregation of St. Laurent in Liege around the turn of the eleventh century: Brussels, Royal Library 9361-9367. It examines the sin of pride in monastic dignitaries, discusses the best way to atone for it, and provides tools for the penitent to start living a more virtuous life in the future. The surviving evidence suggests that this manuscript was produced in reaction to the deeds of abbot Berenger, whose actions in 1095 were considered scandalous by contemporaries because he had led his monks into confusion and sin. The article shows how the combination of texts in this manuscript takes on a different meaning because of these politically charged circumstances, and argues that the St. Laurent manuscript was a discreet but methodical way to end the resulting estrangement between Berenger and his monks. In this interpretation, Brussels RL 9361-9367 is a rare and highly relevant testimony to the ways in which monks in the early twelfth century dealt with psychological and social tensions in the wake of an intra-group conflict.},
  author       = {Snijders, Tjamke and Vanderputten, Steven},
  issn         = {0009-6407},
  journal      = {CHURCH HISTORY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {523--553},
  title        = {From scandal to monastic penance: a reconciliatory manuscript from the early twelfth-century abbey of St. Laurent in Li{\`e}ge},
  volume       = {83},
  year         = {2013},
}

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