Les congrégations observantes dans les ordres mendiants. Ludovic Viallet

Communication à Weingarten, le 30 novembre 2018

La notion même de «congrégation», pour désigner des regroupements institutionnalisés de religieux, est surtout utilisée par les historiens modernistes et contemporanéistes, pour lesquels elle renvoie à des réalités institutionnelles dont le Moyen Âge n’a offert que les prémices. Encore emploient-ils d’ailleurs souvent le terme de façon presque interchangeable avec celui d’«ordre». À partir des définitions que l’on peut rencontrer, mais aussi des réalités tardo-médiévales qui vont nous intéresser, on va ici entendre, par congrégation, une association de communautés religieuses (des couvents) appartenant à un même ordre religieux (dont ils suivent la règle ou les coutumes et reconnaissent l’autorité du supérieur général) et qui, à l’intérieur de cet ordre, se regroupent dans une autonomie institutionnelle partielle en fonction d’un projet spirituel (celui d’une observance plus stricte de la règle ou des coutumes). C’est l’objectif commun qui donne sa raison d’être à la «congrégation» et en modèle les contours.

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Die Formierung benediktinischer Kongregationen im Spätmittelalter. Christoph Dartmann

Talk to be presented at Weingarten, November 30 2018

Im Spätmittelalter entwickeln die Benediktiner Kongregationen als neue Institutionen. Aufbauend auf päpstliche Modelle, wie sie etwa die ‚Benedictina‘ Benedikts XII. entfaltete, sollten dadurch Klöster miteinander verbunden werden, um in ihnen ein einheitliches reformiertes Leben zu gewährleisten, etwa in der italienischen Kongregation von S. Giustina (Padua) oder der Bursfelder Kongregation in Mittel- und Norddeutschland. Andere Reformgruppen wie die um die Klöster Kastl und Melk verzichteten hingegen auf den Zusammenschluss der einzelnen Häuser.

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Medieval Commentaries on the Rules of the Mendicant Orders. Francesco Carta

Le Expositiones super Regulam, chiamate anche Commenti alla Regola, sono dei prodotti culturali che si occupano dell’esegesi di un testo normativo, la Regola, alla base del diritto e dell’identità di un Ordine religioso. I Commenti si contraddistinguono per la più grande varietà di autori, contesti e finalità il cui unico elemento in comune sembra quello di porre al centro del proprio discorso l’osservanza della Regola.

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Stadt. Macht. Reform. Die Unterstützung der Observanz in Ulm, Strassburg und Nürnberg. Tjark Wegner

Talk to be presented at Weingarten, December 1st 2018

Die Einführung der Observanz und die damit zusammenhängenden Streitigkeiten stehen in Mitteleuropa bereits länger im Fokus der Forschung. Allerdings fand die Perspektive der Stadträte, die die Reformmaßnahmen unterstützten, bisher weniger Beachtung.

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A new position for the confessors within the Observance? Stefanie Monika Neidhardt

Talk to be presented at Weingarten, November 30 2018

In his Buch der Reformacio, the observant confessor and convent writer Johannes Meyer compared himself to the biblical Rut to describe his work in the Observance. Like Rut, there former went out to support his family, the Dominican order, and did not leave a part of his relatives, the female branch of the order, behind. By comparing himself to such a great character well-known for her loyalty and caring, Johannes Meyer wanted to create a new image of the observant confessors thus proving that at the time of the convent reforms, confessors like Johannes Meyer had to rethink their notions of the relationship between the female convents and the order.

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Architectural Frame as a Mirror of Communities. Some Reflections on the Architectural Norms in the Italian Observant Congregations
. Haude Morvan

Talk to be presented at Weingarten, November 29 2018

The architectural norms enacted by regular orders are not only indicative of the way the orders « represent themselves in architecture » (cf. Dominique Donadieu-Rigaut, « Penser en images les ordres religieux), but also of their administrative framework (their level of centralisation in particular) and of their relationship with the laity. They might help us answer the following questions: What was the laity’s place in the monastic space ? To what extent did religious communities follow the artistic changes of their time?

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Becoming (or not) a Bishop? Some Cases of Italian Observant Friars. Pietro Delcorno, Sylvie Duval

Talk to be presented at Weingarten, November 30 2018

Anonymous, Saint Bernardino of Siena,  XVth Century, Germany. New York, Museum of Modern Art

The multifaceted Observant movement was one of the driving forces in the attempts to reform the fifteenth-century Church. Yet the direct and permanent institutional involvement was not an obvious choice for Observant leaders.

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«Tendran la Regla a la letra». Royal Patronage and the Observant Movement in Late Medieval Spain. Diana Lucía Gómez-Chacón

Talk to be presented at Weingarten, December 1st 2018

Church of 
Nuestra Señora de la Soterraña, in Santa María la Real de Nieva

The desire to lead a pure and intense spiritual life was very present among the late medieval society. The Observant movement had important consequences on the identity and charisma of the monastic and religious orders that aspired to recover a splendor that they considered lost, through the (re) construction and the (re) creation of the past. 

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Cultivating Patronage in Late Medieval Tuscany: Epistolary Networks of Spiritual and Material Support. Daniel Bornstein

Talk to be presented in Weingarten, December 1st 2018

The support that Italian elites lavished on the new religious foundations of the fifteenth century, and especially the houses of the Observant movement, is well known. The Este family’s patronage of the Poor Clares of Corpus Domini in Ferrara and Cosimo de’ Medici’s financial backing for the Dominicans at San Marco in Florence are just two examples that can stand for many dozen such major construction projects.  Most patronage, however, was conducted at afar less spectacular level, through the exchange of prayers, letters, religious objects, and liturgical books.  

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The « perfectio status religiosi » according to John Capistran. Andrea Bartocci

Talk to be presented in Weingarten, November 29 2018

John Capistran is an emblematic figure of the Franciscan Observance in the fifteenth century Italy. Son of a baron who came to Italy following Louis I. of Anjou, he obtained licentia in iure civili in 1412 in Perugia, where he served as iudex ad civilia during the following years, when the city was subjected to the king of Naples Ladislas I. of Anjou Durazzo. He was, therefore, involved in the political and social conflicts which characterized the decline of the Comuni and marked the affirmation of the lordships in central Italy. Following the occupation of Perugia by Braccio da Montone (1416), he was imprisoned and, according to his oldest biographers, this experience would have determined his conversion. In 1416 he took the Franciscan habit, and the next year he made his religious profession in Monteripido, one of the main branches of the Observance movement in Italy. He was, therefore, one of the protagonists of the project to reaffirm the regimen christianum in Europe, which the Franciscan Observants pursued in the service of the Papacy, while universalism on the political and juridical level was fragmented due to spreading of particularisms and the schism of the Western Church (1378-1417).

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Observant Reform and the Authority of Images. A Comparative Analysis of the Mendicant Orders. Roberto Cobianchi

Talk to be presented at Weingarten, November 29 2018

Verona, San Bernardino: library’s frescoes, by Domenico Morone

In the attempt to fulfil the scope set by the title of this paper, the comparative investigation has been confined to Dominican, Franciscan and Augustinian reformed male communities, and the search for traces of visual “authority” has been limited to their religious houses, omitting their churches.

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The Project « Observing the Observance »

The project “Observing the Observance” aims to explore the role and functions of religious people and religious orders in Europe during the end of Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The main purpose of the Observant reform was a “return” to the first “observance” of the religious rules, but reformers quickly fulfilled other missions, such as the pastoral care of lay people, the regulation of religious and moral life, the promotion of new cultural and educational models.

This movement appeared in the end of the XIV c. and spread in all religious orders, and almost all European countries, during the XV c. and the beginning of the XVI c. How can we evaluate its role and its influence in the evolution of the social, political, cultural and economic structures of the European society? What kind of role did it play in the birth of the protestant Reform; can we still talk about a “pre-reforming” movement?

The study of this important phenomenon has recently become a point of interest for several researchers. In order to propose a synthetic view and a better understanding of the Observant movement, whose main characteristic was its capacity to involve almost all the existing religious orders, different historiographical points of view need to be compared, questioned and discussed. An international interdisciplinary approach will be promoted: besides historians, the project includes historians of arts and musicologists.

Le projet « Observer l’Observance »

Le projet “Observer l’Observance” a pour ambition l’étude de la place et du rôle des religieux au sein des bouleversements qui caractérisèrent les sociétés européennes entre Moyen Âge et Époque moderne. L’Observance se présente comme un mouvement de réforme des religieux réguliers réclamant un retour à la « première observance » de la règle. Les réformateurs, toutefois, on très vite rempli d’autres missions, en particulier dans le domaine de la pastorale des laïcs, la régulation de la vie religieuse et morale de la société dans laquelle il vivait, la promotion de nouveaux modèles culturels et éducatifs.

Le mouvement « observant » est apparu à la fin du XIVe siècle, et s’est développé dans différents ordres religieux, et de nombreux pays européens, au cours du XVe siècle et dans la première moitié du XVIe siècle. Quel fut son influence sur l’évolution des structures sociales, politiques, culturelles et économique en Europe ? Quel fut, enfin, son rôle dans l’apparition de la Réforme protestante ; peut-on encore aujourd’hui parler de « pré-réforme » ?

L’étude de ce mouvement a, durant ces toutes dernières années, fait l’objet de nombreuses recherches. Afin de parvenir à une compréhension synthétique et nouvelle de « l’Observance », dont la principale caractéristique fut sa capacité à se développer transversalement dans la plupart des ordres religieux, il importe de comparer et de questionner différents points de vue historiographiques. Notre approche est donc résolument internationale, mais aussi interdisciplinaire, puisque le projet inclut, outre les historiens, des historiens de l’art et des musicologues.

Riforme e osservanze tra XIV e XVI secolo, Michele Lodone

Michele Lodonemichele.lodone@sns.it

L’obiettivo dell’intervento è presentare le tendenze della storiografia sulle osservanze (fino al Concilio di Trento), in modo da individuare i principali problemi aperti e gli aspetti ancora da indagare. Dal momento che è prevista una sessione dedicata alla storiografia dei singoli Ordini, si adotterà una prospettiva generale e, laddove possibile, comparativa.

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