This conference aims to examine the relationships that monastic communities have formed with secular authorities across a range of criteria that includes political, economic and cultural concerns. By considering monasteries as institutions, but also their members as individual actors, the conference will help to define the various settings in which they operated within the political landscape, as well as in reference to one another. It will aim to provide a framework in which we can consider the importance of the monastery as a focal point of power and how that power provided the foundations for lasting relationships or for the genesis of conflict. The conference is designed to encompass papers concerning the Continent and the British Isles with the intent to explore similarities and differences in strategies employed by individuals and their communities from as wide a pool of sources as possible.
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