Strand Definitions: Monasticism and Religious Life

This strand refers to all forms of life which involve a vow to live according to the evangelical counsels (consilia evangelica) of obedience, chastity and poverty. This includes monks, hermits, canons and mendicants as well as the so-called 'semi-religious', such as beghines, in all their organisational forms – with a focus on both individual monasteries and convents and on the orders as a whole. We are looking for proposals for sessions and indvidual papers on all aspects of these forms of life: spiritual practices (such as liturgy, ascetic practices, the cure of souls, missions and preaching), organisation and administrative norms (such as rules, customs, statutes, visitations), economic and social realities as well as religious art and literature (such as hagiography, didactic writings and hagiography).

Alongside the usual emphasis on the historical circumstances of individual orders, it is our particular priority to stress the need for comparative studies, and to overcome the lack of communication between scholars of the different orders and religious movements. Any discussion of aspects such as charismatic rule, individuality and community, or poverty would seem to be particularly welcome in this regard.