Universitaire Pers Leuven

  • The role of monastic institutions in society during the Central Middle Ages has been much debated in medieval studies. Some scholars saw monasticism as the principal motivator of economic, social, intellectual and 'spiritual' progress in human society, while others regarded monastic ideology as fundamentally anti-social and oriented towards itself.

    These debates seem to have lost some of their relevance to the present-day scholar. Today monasticism is studied as a social entity which needed interactions with the outside world, not only to subsist in a physical sense, but also to give a clear sense of purpose to its members. Drawing on recent trends in historical scholarship, this volume seeks to identify some of the major questions that will dominate research into monasticism in the years to come. Contributions deal with the evolution of monasticism itself, its links with aristocracy, the economic relations of religious communities and their physical and ideological boundaries, and the representation of the outside world in monastic manuscripts.



    Les contributions rassemblées dans ce volume présentent un point de vue à la fois multiple et multidisciplinaire sur l'état de la question dans l'historiographie du monachisme, un domaine de recherche dont la complexité s'avère désormais incontestable. Il s'agit de réflexions portant sur l'évolution du monachisme, ou d'études approfondissant les liens entre le monachisme et l'aristocratie ou les réalités économiques, explorant les liens physiques et idéologiques avec le monde extérieur, sans oublier des analyses portant sur les représentations du monde extérieur dans les manuscrits médiévaux.

  • Het 15de-eeuwse Brugge was een middeleeuwse grootstad. In deze metropool floreerden luxenijverheden, internationale handel en maakte het Bourgondische hof grote sier. Brugge telde in deze periode enkele honderden geestelijken: kanunniken en pastoors, maar ook kapelanen en talrijke zangers. Onder hen vinden we enkele van de meest vooraanstaande componisten, zangers, ambtenaren en professoren van de lage landen terug, o.a. Gilles Binchois, Gilles Joye, Guillaume Dufay en Antoine Haneron. De Brugse kanunnik Joris Vander Paelen werd door Jan Van Eyck als een devoot man afgebeeld, maar sommige kronieken schetsen een ander beeld van de laatmiddeleeuwse clerus: "Zijn het dan allemaal hebzuchtige en eerzuchtige dieven, hoogmoedige en wellustige hoerenlopers en maagdenonteerders?"

    In 'De papen van Brugge' wordt de levenswandel van niet minder dan 1298 seculiere geestelijken onderzocht. Het karikaturale beeld van de hypocriete, geile, ijdele of vraatzuchtige pastoor wordt door Hendrik Callewier aan de hand van rijke archiefbronnen herbekeken en bijgesteld.

  • Een unieke blik op de kruistochten naar het Midden-Oosten.
    Het Midden-Oosten is vandaag een kruitvat, een strijdtoneel van grootmachten, een slagveld van religieus radicalisme. Tijdens de kruistochten in de twaalfde eeuw was het vaak niet anders. Om tot oplossingen te komen, kampte men met vergelijkbare socio-politieke vragen, zoals: Realpolitik versus eigen principes, hoever kan men daarin gaan? Akkoorden afsluiten met 'de vijand' en met 'de religieus andere', is dat wel ethisch verantwoord? Ondergraaft men zo niet de eigen manier van leven? Zijn religieuze tolerantie en vreedzaam multicultureel samenleven wel haalbaar of moet hier niet eerder geopteerd worden voor pragmatisme in de omgang met 'de andere'?

    In Over koningen, kruisvaarders en jihadi's maakt de lezer kennis met de twaalfde-eeuwse aartsbisschop Willem van Tyrus, rijkskanselier van het Koninkrijk Jeruzalem en deskundige correspondent ter plaatse. Aan de hand van Willems getuigenis over de middeleeuwse Levant schetst Gust De Preter de historische context. Hij bespreekt de belangrijkste en meest markante observaties en inzichten uit het Chronicon, betrekt ze op de huidige situatie in het Midden-Oosten en trekt behoedzaam interessante parallellen. Door intermezzo's waarin de auteur citeert uit zijn online beschikbare en integrale Nederlandse vertaling van het Chronicon, krijgt de lezer een uniek inzicht in de kruistochten naar het Midden-Oosten en een inkijk in het prikkelende gedachtegoed van een scherpzinnige chroniqueur.

    Voorwoord van historicus en Midden-Oosten-correspondent Jorn De Cock.

  • The present volume contains a collection of papers on the reception of Aristotle's Problemata, a multifaceted text asking various questions about medical, scientific or everyday topics. This text is one of the most neglected Aristotelian treatises, because of its heterogeneous character and its so-called 'inauthenticity'. It has been the subject of a complex transmission. In ancient times, Aristotle's text has been augmented and adapted, while still other authors composed similar collections of Problemata. In the Middle Ages, Problemata collections have been translated into Arabic, Latin, and Middle French, each translation being characterized by its own particularities. The Latin translation lead to an extremely influential commentary by the Italian physician Peter of Abano, whereas Evrart de Conty, who made the Middle French translation, added himself a commentary to each discussed problem, often using Peter of Abano's text as source. Also in the Renaissance, the Problemata appealed to the interest of physicians and philosophers. In their contributions to this book, the authors analyse this complex web of relations between source-texts, translations, and commentaries, in different times and tongues.

  • Church buildings dominated the medieval towns. Higher and stronger than most buildings in town, and often easily accessible because of their central position, they offered a venue for various kinds of activities. Naturally, the faithful first and foremost flocked towards the parish and monastic churches and chapels to attend masses, to receive the Sacraments, to offer up their prayers. But not all uses were strictly religious. Secular authorities, from the ruler to the town government, the trades or guilds, made --sometimes extensive-- use of these ecclesiastical buildings, usually for practical or socio-political reasons. Indeed, ecclesiastical buildings were used for storage or preservation purposes (arms, documents, treasure, ...), for defensive reasons, for accomodating large gatherings, ... They were also perceived to lend a kind of sacral aura to all proceedings taking place inside, and were consequently the ideal setting for ceremonies such as crownings, for elections, meetings, ..., emphasizing the legitimacy and the solemn nature of these (socio-)political activities. Apart from a mere enumeration and description of the different uses, the authors of this book also try to explain why these 'sacred spaces' were such appreciated venues for various kinds of secular activities, and why some churches and monasteries were more popular than other. Moreover, it will become clear that, in some cases, sacred space itself was adapted to the needs of the secular community. Naturally, the local clergy or ecclesiastical authorities could greatly influence the actual use made of these buildings, by either granting or denying the secular world the right to 'invade' their sacred spaces.

    This book discusses uses made of churches and monasteries by secular authorities in the Low Countries, the German regions and the British Isles, focussing on the late medieval period. In this way, the reader is offered a view across borders and periods, as well as across different levels of society. Symbolic uses of churches for reasons of prestige, legitimacy or solemnity are confronted with the down-to-earth (ab)use of sacred spaces in order to survive. Long-term, traditional uses which were continued for centuries, are set against improptu decisions in answer to occasional needs or emergencies. More in particular, the topics discussed for the Low Countries range from the everyday use of parish churches (Kuys), over the use of ecclesiastical buildings for peace-proclamations (van Leeuwen), to the abuse of these buildings in times of war (De Smet), and to the representation of patronage on the paintings with which they were decorated (Dekeyzer). For the German regions, the function of these buildings for royal representation (Rahel Oesterle) and the church as a space for communication (Signori) are discussed. The London Mendicant monasteries (Röhrkasten) and a Cistercian monastery (Jamroziak) were situated within the sphere of influence of several secular authorities --among which was the court-- while also the influence of urban ceremonies (Sweetinburgh) and noble patronage (Stöber) on ecclesiastical buildings in more peripheral regions receives the attention it deserves.

    This book represents for the Low Countries a first attempt at the study of this subject.

  • Manuscripts constitute the source material par excellence for diverse academic disciplines. Art historians, philologists, historians, theologians, philosophers, book historians and even jurists encounter one another around the codex. The fact that such an encounter can be extremely fertile was demonstrated, during an international congress in Brussels on November 5-9, 2002.

    A record of the discussions can be found in this volume of the Mediaevalia Lovaniensia. The editors selected those lectures that focused on the historical, literary-historical, philosophical and theological aspects of the congress theme as opposed to those with an explicit art-historical perspective. The common thread, however, is always the codicological aspect: what can the study of manuscripts contribute to the literary-historical interpretation or the insight into the functioning of a text in its original context. The various contributions testify to a fearless and unrestrained interdisciplinary approach to the material. The subjects broached cover a broad domain: from the development of classical themes to the transmission of lyrical models, from visual material giving evidence of the reception of literary texts to the artes-literature used as a vehicle for a love story.

  • This volume addresses symbolic forms of communication in the late medieval towns of the Low Countries, northern France and the Swiss Confederation. In context of State centralisation, the political autonomy of these towns was threatened by tensions with higher levels of power. Within this conflict both rulers and towns employed symbolic means of communication to legitimise their power position.
    The intensive use of rituals like theatreplays and gift-exchange demonstrates that symbolic forms of communication were no routine jobs. Towns and rulers actively appropriated and reread older traditions in order to adapt them to the new settings in which they were employed. Tradition and innovation had to be balanced well, in order for the audience to understand the ritual correctly. However, the organiser could never control the new layers of meaning the audience would attach to the event.
    This volume seeks to explore how new layers of meaning were attached to well-known traditions, how these rituals were perceived and when the recognizability of a ritual was damaged by such appropriations. Both public encounters between rulers and towns are studied, as well as the use of ritual to express the political and religious relations between the various social groups within the towns.

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