The secular world and material consumption in Western European monasticism, c. 1050-c. 1250

Loading Map....

Date / time
Date(s) - 21 September - 23 September
12:00 am

Hatfield College, Durham University


Abstracts are invited for this three-day interdisciplinary conference entitled ‘Treasure in heaven, treasures on earth: the secular world and material consumption in Western European monasticism, c. 1050-c. 1250’. All are encouraged to submit, from graduate students to established staff, and from all disciplines.

This conference will explore ideas of monastic practice and rhetoric towards the social and material world, both within and outside the cloister. Both individual monks and their communities engaged with the secular world, whether driven by necessity or by their own impetus, despite the perceived dangers of interactions with lay society and their values. How monks endeavoured to maintain their adherence to monastic expectations in the period c. 1050-c. 1250 is the chief concern of this conference.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

• Monastic dealings with money, offering, usury and communal wealth.

• Monks as landlords and secular lords.

• The rule of St. Benedict and the practicalities of life in the medieval monastery.

• Monks as builders and patrons of construction.

• Monks and their relationships with women and the secular social hierarchy.

• Monks and earthly goods

• Monastic theological approaches to the relationship between the monk and the world.

For more information about the conference, to join the conference mailing list or to submit an abstract, please email the committee at You can also visit for future updates.

This conference is kindly funded by the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo as well as Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Studies, the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development.