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28 - Monastic Daily Life (c. 750–1100): A Tight Community Shielded by an Outer Court

from Part II - The Carolingians to the Eleventh Century

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2020

Alison I. Beach
Ohio State University
Isabelle Cochelin
University of Toronto
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Much can be revealed about monastic daily life by observing innovations in and through our sources. While discussing some of them in this article for the period between the late eighth century and the eleventh—through a discussion of customaries, the claustral area (claustrum), the chapter house, the recruitment of children, and the outer court—I will argue that we should be more critical about what have long been considered fundamental tenets of medieval monastic life, especially the literal application of the Rule of St. Benedict (RB), total obedience toward the abbot, and strict separation from the secular world. While this last idea has already been challenged, much remains to be said about the complexity of the interaction between the community within the monastery and the exterior. Much also remains to be told about the sway of the community itself.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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