Monastic Reform and the Geography of Christendom: Experience, Observation and Influence

Historians have suggested that tropes about the desert, solitude, etc., drawn from early texts found their way into mainstream accounts of monastic change in the period c. 1080–1150; this paper challenges this model.

The Novice-master in the Cistercian Order

Information relating to the novice master has to be rather sought in the customs, constitutions and in similar texts. Their explanations and regulations come closer to the practices of the respective community than can be expected from rules.

The Miracle of the Unspilled Beer

Was not spilling beer important enough to be considered a miracle? For one seventh-century writer it was!

The Soul of Early Irish Monasticism

Not many people are aware that when it comes to Irish religious history, St Patrick only scratches the surface. The island in fact has a rich and fascinating Christian heritage, of which monks and sprawling monastic communities play a central role.

Book Tour: Heroines of the Medieval World by Sharon Bennett Connolly

This November, is pleased to feature Sharon Connolly’s book tour for Heroines of the Medieval World. The book shares the stories of women, famous, infamous, and unknown, who shaped the course of medieval history.

The Meaning of the Habit: Religious Orders, Dress and Identity, 1215-1650

What lies at the core of this analysis of the conceptions about religious clothing – used as a heuristic tool – is precisely its capacity to show not only how the identities of the religious orders of the period evolved, but also how they were perceived and conceived, and how they shaped these changes.

Book Review: The Mortecarni

Are you a horror fan looking for something different to shake up your reading list? Kelly Evans might have just what you’re looking for in her latest novel, ‘The Mortecarni’, a medieval zombie mash up set around the time of the Black Death.

White, Black and Grey: recent discoveries at Aberdeen’s medieval friaries

Recent excavations at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen have revealed 30 burials from the medieval Dominican (Black) friary as well as hints at remains of the buildings. This talk will present the latest evidence from this site and look at the other excavated medieval friaries, Franciscan (Grey) and Carmelite (white).

Tips on being a good CEO from a medieval abbot

In many ways, Abbot Samson would resemble the Chief Executive Officer of a company – indeed, he was actually running a corporation that would have been worth tens of millions of pounds in today’s money

Get Thee to a Nunnery: Unruly Women and Christianity in Medieval Europe

These texts also demonstrate that women’s power waned in the shift between pre-Christian and Christian Europe.

Fish on Friday II: Monastic Meals

In the Middle Ages, fasting and Lenten traditions were highly evident in the monastic houses. The different Rules and Orders (take your pick from Benedictine, Carthusian, Cluniac, Cistercian, Premonstratensians, Trinitarians, Beguines, and more!) had strict rules governing their lifestyles, including their diet, nutrition, and meals. Where, When, What, and How Much? Monastic communities ate their […]

Disimpassioned Monks and Flying Nuns: Emotion Management in Early Medieval Rules

What do a monastery and an airplane have in common? Both are closed communities; there is no way out (at least after the plane has started). Both are regulated by rules different from those followed in the world outside.

Embracing Death, Celebrating Life: Reflections on the Concept of Martyrdom in the Order of the Knights Templar

This article aims at shedding light on this neglected aspect of Templar spirituality and discusses the implications of this concept’s manifestation throughout the order’s history.

The Statutes of the Teutonic Knights: A Study of Religious Chivalry

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of the religious military orders, and of the Teutonic Knights in particular, within the process of change in developing the concept of a religious and a Christian warrior during the Crusades, or, in other words, how the existing Latin ideal of religious retreat was adapted, blended and attached to the chivalric image of Western Europe in the Holy Land, as reflected in the statutes of the Teutonic Knights.

Soldiers of Christ: The Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar in medieval Ireland

In an Irish context, the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar were the most significant expressions of this unusual vocation that sought to combine military service with monastic observance.

BOOK REVIEW: Medieval Medicine: Its Mysteries and Science by Toni Mount

Our review of Toni Mount’s fascinating look at medicine in the Middle Ages in – Medieval Medicine: Its Mysteries and Science by Toni Mount.

The Global Side of Medieval at the Getty Centre: Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts

Los Angeles correspondent, Danielle Trynoski takes through the, ‘Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts’ exhibut at the Getty Museum.

Movie Review: Pope Joan – Medieval Legend Comes to Life Onscreen

Released in 2009, also under its German title, ,Die Päpstin,, ,Pope Joan’ recounts the medieval legend of Johanna von Ingleheim, a woman who disguised herself as a man, lived as a monk, and eventually went on to become pope in the ninth century.

A Quick Guide to Medieval Monastic Orders

During the Middle Ages, thousands of monastic communities were founded throughout Europe. Throughout this period, different types of monasteries were formed, which had different emphasizes and goals.

5 Surprising Rules for Medieval Monks

The Rule of Saint Benedict was one of the quintessential texts of the Middle Ages. It explicitly lays out how to effectively run and be a part of the ideal monastic community – at least in Benedict’s view.

Jocelin of Brakelond and the power of Abbot Samson

This article reconsiders a well-known narrative source from the beginning of the thirteenth century, Jocelin of Brakelond’s Chronicle.

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The Norwegian Attack on Iona in 1209-10: The Last Viking Raid?

A closer look at what happened in and around Iona in the early 1200s, makes the interpretation that this was just another such ‘classic viking raid’ rather unlikely.

Bulls, bere and black oatmeal: Iona’s economy in the later Middle Ages

This paper will take a brief look at some of the landholdings of both the abbey and the nunnery, and at how they were used – and perhaps misused – over this period.

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