Session699
TitleKeynote Lecture 2022: Frontier Monasticism (Language: English)
Date/TimeTuesday 5 July 2022: 13.15-14.00
 
SpeakerAna Echevarría Arsuaga, Departamento de Historia Medieval y Ciencias y Técnicas Historiográficas, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid
 
IntroductionNora Berend, Faculty of History / St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge
 
AbstractSpeaker: Ana Echevarría Arsuaga, Departamento de Historia Medieval y Ciencias y Técnicas Historiográficas, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid
Introduction: Nora Berend, Faculty of History / St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge

Fortresses and castles have usually been studied as border markers for the defence of the borderlands between Christianity and Islam, but recent approaches to the history of monasticism have convincingly shown that these institutions have an important role in processes of definition and fluidity of frontiers in the Middle Ages. This lecture will address the need to understand frontier monasteries as interlocutors among the different religious groups present in medieval empires. While their function as promoters of colonisation has been thoroughly studied, their role as diplomatic centres, their contribution to the defence and administration of both maritime and land borders, and their capacity as poles of attraction for commerce and pilgrimage have been understated. Pactual monasticism, more flexible than affiliation to a set rule, appears as a very convenient strategy for the foundation of such monasteries, and the coexistence of multiple traditions in one monastery should also be re-examined in this context. Recent work on frontier monasteries in Armenia, Sicily, and Palestine has underscored the role of these houses in confrontation and/or conflict to open a new field about their role as mediators between Islamic and Christian powers. This paper will show how these roles may be studied in the Iberian peninsula and the new avenues this approach may inspire in Mediterranean studies.

Please note that admission to this event will be on a first-come, first-served basis as there will be no tickets. Please ensure that you arrive as early as possible to avoid disappointment.