TitleCreating Communities
Date/TimeTuesday 5 July 2022: 09.00-10.30
OrganiserIMC Programming Committee
Moderator/ChairMarie-Thérèse Champagne, Department of History & Philosophy, University of West Florida
Paper 522-a The Borders of Time: The Medieval Year and Social Cohesion
(Language: English)
Sarah Bridget Lynch, Classical & Medieval Studies, Bates College, Maine
Index Terms: Daily Life; Mentalities; Social History
Paper 522-b Medieval Borders of Politics
(Language: English)
Julien Le Mauff, Laboratoire d'Etudes sur les Monothéismes, (LEM - UMR 8584), École Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris
Index Terms: Philosophy; Political Thought
Paper 522-c Unbelievers, Heretics, and Atheists: Drawing Borders between the Terms
(Language: English)
Keagan Joel Brewer, Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language & Literature, Macquarie University, Sydney
Index Terms: Ecclesiastical History; Mentalities; Religious Life
AbstractPaper -a:
Borders and divisions defined the medieval year, much like the modern year. It was criss-crossed with shorter periods that coincided with everything from the agricultural to the liturgical year. Specific festivals marked the beginning and end of these phases, resulting in vivid celebrations that punctuated the medieval year. But these annual symbolic borders were not just a means of keeping time. This paper will argue that the format of the medieval year as defined by its festivals was a construct used by medieval communities to express their collective identities and to help create and maintain them. It will demonstrate that festive traditions across later medieval Western Europe, from boy bishop celebrations to carnival to the circuits of courts, manufactured group feeling both by bringing communities together and by giving space to licit forms of dissent and rebellion.

Paper -b:
In his book Les Bords de la politique, Jacques Rancière delineated the 'limits' of politics, not as the 'exercise of power' but as a specific mode of existence, warning against 'reducing politics to the state'. This paper will explore its late medieval 'borders'. What did Aquinas mean when he divided politica in two parts (regnativa and commune)? What was the 'science de politiques' (Oresme)? Various definitions exist of the political community (communitas perfecta, corpus reipublicae), and the borders of 'the political' (Schmitt) were also specified, as the definition of the civic community led to physical borders and to the exclusion of perceived strangers.

Paper -c:
This paper considers the theoretical and philosophical differences between the terms for unbelief in contemporary English and medieval Latin. The lack of direct correlate for modern 'atheism' in medieval Latin raises questions of linguistic determinism (could a medieval person be an atheist without self-selecting the label?), however the historical record preserves a varied vocabulary with which medieval Europeans expressed contemplation, acceptance, or repudiation of the possibility of God's non-existence. The paper will consider medieval terminological definitions from a variety of sources (primarily theological), then explore case studies of medieval unbelievers to demonstrate the methodological difficulties of applying specific labels retrospectively.