Papers are sought for a panel on the theory and practice of pastoral care in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, for the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, 7-10 July, 2014.
The provision of adequate pastoral care and the duty of a cleric to minister to the needs of his flock is something of a perennial theme in Christian writing. From Gregory the Great to Vatican II, theologians have wrestled with the question of how to strengthen and supporting the connection between the institutional church and the body of the laity, with diverse strategies and with varying degrees of success.
This panel aims to consider pastoral care both in practice and theory in medieval Europe during the long eleventh and twelfth centuries. Historiographical attention has typically focused on the period just before the Fourth Lateran Council, the development of pastoralia as a literary genre, and the institutional implementation of the canons of 1215.
For this panel, we encourage proposals that go beyond this traditional narrative, look earlier, or consider neglected texts or aspects of pastoral care. How did the reform movements of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and the burgeoning of new monastic forms of life, transform the ways in which pastoral care was conceived of and implemented?
Papers may deal with any aspect of pastoral care, broadly interpreted, in the period before the Fourth Lateran Council. This may include the writing or thought of specific bishops, abbots, canons, monks or theologians, or may focus on how pastoral care was, or was not achieved, in specific religious communities or provinces. We also welcome contributions which tackle the methodological questions pertaining to this topic, such as how historians can assess the efficacy of pastoral care, and what the care of souls looked like when put into action. Prospective papers may also wish to consider the ways in which later medieval thinkers adapted, modified and renewed classical and patristic doctrines of pastoral care. Papers may treat any area of medieval Europe, broadly defined.
Please send any questions or proposals (approximately 300 words) for 20 minute papers to email@example.com on or before 9th August 2013.
Faculty of History
University of Oxford
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