Benedict of Aniane, Adalhard of Corbie, and the Perils of Contentio
Number of pages
SourceThe Heroic Age, 20, (2021)
27 januari 2021
Article / Letter to editor
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Oude en Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis
The Heroic Age
SubjectCritical Humanities; Europe in a Changing World
In the Carolingian era, monasteries were treated as isolated havens of tranquility. The texts associated with the monastic reforms propagated by the Carolingian court usually also represented them as such, in order to highlight the harmony and community they stood for. However, underneath the surface, debates and conflicts about the proper way of life would continuously take place—and sometimes these boiled over into the public sphere as well. Starting from a single instance of such a public contentio (between Benedict of Aniane and Adalhard of Corbie), this article analyses how and why this could happen, and especially also what could make author decide to record the existence of such conflicts for later generations: as a warning, but also as a way of teaching that the perfect (monastic) life is in constant need of updates.
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