A Companion to the Abbey of Cluny in the Middle Ages


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Founded in 910 by Duke William of Aquitaine, the abbey of Cluny rose to prominence in the eleventh century as the most influential and opulent center for monastic devotion in medieval Europe. While the twelfth century brought challenges, both internal and external, the Cluniacs showed remarkable adaptability in the changing religious climate of the high Middle Ages. Written by international experts representing a range of academic disciplines, the contributions to this volume examine the rich textual and material sources for Cluny’s history, offering not only a thorough introduction to the distinctive character of Cluniac monasticism in the Middle Ages, but also the lineaments of a detailed research agenda for the next generation of historians.

Contributors are: Isabelle Rosé, Steven Vanderputten, Marc Saurette, Denyse Riche, Susan Boynton, Anne Baud, Sébastien Barret, Robert Berkhofer III, Isabelle Cochelin, Michael Hänchen, Gert Melville, Eliana Magnani, Constance B. Bouchard, Benjamin Pohl, and Scott G. Bruce.

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Scott G. Bruce, Ph.D. (2000), Princeton University, is Professor of Medieval History at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York. He has published several books on the history of Cluny, most recently (with Christopher A. Jones) The Relatio metrica de duobus ducibus: A Twelfth-Century Cluniac Poem on Prayer for the Dead (Brepols, 2016).

Steven Vanderputten, Ph.D. (2000), Ghent University, is Professor in the History of the Early and High Middle Ages at Ghent University. He has published extensively on the history of monastic life in the medieval West, among other places in his latest monograph Medieval Monasticisms. Forms and Experiences of the Monastic Life in the Latin West (De Gruyter/Oldenbourg, 2020).
"Brill's Companions to European History have become essential research guides to cardinal topics in the field." - Robert Jones Clines, in: Journal of Jesuit Studies, 6 (2019)
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Notes on Contributors

Steven Vanderputten and Scott G. Bruce

PART 1: A Brief History of Cluny and Cluniac Monasticism

1 Tenth-Century Cluny
Isabelle Rosé
2 The Emergence of the Ecclesia Cluniacensis
Steven Vanderputten
3 Challenges of the Twelfth Century
Marc Saurette
4 Cluny in the Later Middle Ages and Beyond
Denyse Riche

PART 2: Cluniac Identities

5 Imagining Early Cluny in Abbatial Biographies
Steven Vanderputten
6 Shaping Cluniac Devotion
Susan Boynton
7 Archaeology and the Abbey of Cluny
Anne Baud
8 Shaping Cluniac Memory
Sébastien Barret

PART 3: The Cares of the Cloister

9 Abbatial Lordship
Robert F. Berkhofer III
10 Discipline and the Problem of Cluny’s Customaries
Isabelle Cochelin
11 The General Chapter and Cluniac Legislation
Michael Hänchen and Gert Melville
12 Cluny and Religious Women
Eliana Magnani

PART 4: Beyond the Cloister

13 Cluny and Lay Patronage
Constance B. Bouchard
14 The Problem of Cluniac Exemption
Benjamin Pohl
15 Cluny and the Crusades
Scott G. Bruce
16 The Relics of Cluny
Scott G. Bruce

This Companion will be of interest to everyone studying the history of Cluniac monasticism and to scholars and students of medieval history more broadly.
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