TitleVisions of Authority, I: Canon Law - On the Borders of Religious Discipline and Spiritual Authority
Date/TimeWednesday 6 July 2022: 11.15-12.45
SponsorRadboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH), Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
OrganiserRiccardo Macchioro, ERC Project 'Patristic Sermons in the Middle Ages (PASSIM)', Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen / Università degli Studi di Milano
Moderator/ChairShari Boodts, Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH), Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Paper 1143-a Damnatio memoriae in Early Medieval Canon Law Collections
(Language: English)
Till Stüber, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
Index Terms: Canon Law; Ecclesiastical History; Law; Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 1143-b Adaptations of the Old Testament in Early Medieval Normative Texts: On Whose Authority?
(Language: English)
Roy Flechner, School of History, University College Dublin
Index Terms: Biblical Studies; Canon Law
Paper 1143-c Authority Implied: The Presence and Absence of Authorities in 'Minor' Canonical Collections
(Language: English)
Sven Meeder, Afdeling Geschiedenis, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Index Terms: Canon Law; Ecclesiastical History; Manuscripts and Palaeography
AbstractThe 'Visions of Authority' series investigates how medieval scribes and compilers manipulate the authority of their material. The focus is on genres connected to religious history, which are traditionally imbued with significant authority, but simultaneously exhibit strong instability and malleability in their transmission. This tension makes them interesting cases to study how authority is established, which practices can strengthen it, and how it influences the impact of a text.

As a genre based on authority and explicitly adopting a position of authority, works of religious law display a great variety of strategies to express legal and spiritual authority. Such strategies include erroneous attributions of canonical statements, strategic juxtapositioning, subtle editing techniques, creative use of script, etc. At the same time, references to erstwhile authorities could be surpressed, if their prestige was compromised. This session discusses a few of these sophisticated approaches to authority in early medieval works of canon law, ranging from erasing references to now inopportune royal support, tinkering with Biblical texts, to implying authoritative provenance when in reality there was little to go on.