The Politics of Interpretation: The Bible and the Formation of Legal Authority in Early Medieval Europe

Ort
Berlin
Veranstaltungsort
Freie Universität Berlin, Fabeckstraße 23-25, Room 2.2059
Veranstalter
Freie Universität Berlin, Marie S. Curie IF Projekt BIBLACE (GA n. 655748), Stefan Esders, Gerda Heydemann
Datum
11.05.2017 - 13.05.2017
Bewerbungsschluss
11.05.2017
Von
Gerda Heydemann

Early medieval political thought was profoundly influenced by scripture. This included law and legal culture: the Bible not only provided early medieval elites with the concepts and vocabularies to discuss and write about social relations and their regulation; scriptural citations were also sometimes directly adopted as law, or cited to explain, legitimize or criticize certain norms. This recourse to biblical models and authority, however, was not straightforward. Biblical sources often remained implicit or references vague; sometimes, contradictory proof texts existed or the meaning of a particular passage was contested; in other cases, contemporary social practices were in contradiction with (some) biblical prescriptions. The application of biblical models to problems current in early medieval societies thus created tensions and the need for interpretation and translation, resulting in debates about the salience and authority of biblical law.

This conference sets out to explore these issues, and to understand the interplay between biblical knowledge and legal debates in the early Middle Ages. Its aims is twofold: first, to compare the use (and non-use) of the Bible across canon law, leges, royal capitularies, penitentials and episcopal statutes, and second, to investigate the discussion of legal themes and concerns in biblical exegesis, sermons and moral treatises. The entanglement of biblical and legal material in manuscripts may likewise be explored. We thus attempt to bridge anachronistic divides between “secular” and “ecclesiastical” law or between certain textual “genres”. The overall goal is to analyze not only the normative function and ideological implications of the recourse to biblical law, but also the political and religious debates which accompanied the formation and implementation of norms. We hope to discuss developments in Carolingian Francia alongside comparable phenomena in other regions such as Ireland, Spain and England.

Admission free; please register with Gerda Heydemann (gheydemann@zedat.fu-berlin.de)

The conference is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under grant agreement n. 655748 (Marie S. Curie Individual Fellowship “The Bible and the Law in Carolingian Europe – BIBLACE”)

Programm

Thursday 11 MAY

14.00 ARRIVAL & WELCOME
14.30 Stefan Esders & Gerda Heydemann (Berlin), Introduction

15.00-16.30 SESSION I: BIBLICAL LAW, COMMUNICATION AND THE FORGING OF SOCIAL IDENTITY
Maximilian Diesenberger (ÖAW, Vienna): Preaching the Law: Sermons, the Bible and Legal Discourse in the Ninth Century
Abigail Firey (University of Kentucky), Stranger in a Strange Land: Carolingian Exegetes and Jurists Consider Outsiders, Exile, and Identity

16.30-17.00 Coffee Break

17.00-18.30 SESSION II: INSULAR MODELS AND INFLUENCES
Roy Flechner (University College Dublin), Interpretation Rather than Legislation: Biblical Exegesis in Early Irish Church Law
Sven Meeder (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), Negotiating the Canonical Rules of the Bible in Irish Canon Law

Friday 12 MAY

09.30- 12.00 SESSION III: CANON LAW AND PENITENTIAL PRACTICE
Cornelia Scherer (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), “Lex est emula divinitatis”: Zum Gebrauch biblischer Texte in Rechtssammlungen des Westgotenreichs
Clara Harder (Universität zu Köln), Tradition und Innovation. Die Bedeutung der Bibel in den pseudoisidorischen Fälschungen
Rob Meens (Universiteit Utrecht), The Bible as a Norm in Carolingian Penitentials

12.00-14.00 Lunch Break

14.00-15.30 SESSION IV: BIBLICAL LANGUAGE AND ‘SECULAR’ LAW
Miriam Czock (Universität Duisburg-Essen), Conceptions of Justice in the Carolingian Age
Karl Ubl (Universität zu Köln), Bibel und Recht. Das Florilegium in Paris, BN lat. 10754

15.30-16.00 Coffee Break

16.00-18.30 SESSION V: BIBLICAL EXEGESIS AND LEGAL THOUGHT
Connor O’Brien (Churchill College, Cambridge): “Subiecti estote omni humanae creaturae”: Insular Commentary on 1 Peter 2.13-14 and its Influence on Carolingian Exegesis
Gerda Heydemann (Freie Universität Berlin): The Gospel of Matthew in Carolingian Law and Exegesis
Mayke de Jong (Universiteit Utrecht), “That in the Mouth of Two or Three Witnesses Every Word May Stand” (Mt 18-16). On Paschasius Radbertus, testes and Truth

Saturday 13 MAY

9.00-10.30 SESSION VI: BISHOPS AS LEGAL MINDS
Caroline Chevalier-Royet (Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3), Bibel und Patristik im Dienste der politischen Argumentation bei Agobard von Lyon
Charles West (University of Sheffield), “Just as the Law of Moses is the Law of the Jews”: Hincmar of Rheims and the Normative Role of the Bible in Late Carolingian France

10.30-11.00 Coffee Break

11.00-12.30 SESSION VII: PERSPECTIVES
Stefan Jurasinski (The College at Brockport, State University of New York), Alfred, the Bible, and the Authority of Written Law: Reassessing the Carolingian Inheritance
Rosamond McKitterick (Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge): Conclusive Remarks

Kontakt

Gerda Heydemann

Freie Universität Berlin, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut für Geschichte
Koserstraße 20, Raum A 243, 14195 Berlin

gheydemann@zedat.fu-berlin.de

Zitation
The Politics of Interpretation: The Bible and the Formation of Legal Authority in Early Medieval Europe, 11.05.2017 – 13.05.2017 Berlin, in: H-Soz-Kult, 21.04.2017, <www.hsozkult.de/event/id/termine-33922>.
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