Cistercian Worlds

Date / time: 1 July - 2 July, 9:30 am - 6:00 pm

Cistercian Worlds

Scholars have explained the success of the Cistercians materially through the perspectives of archaeology, architecture and art, and historians, theologians and literary scholars have analysed the achievements of Cistercian thought and spiritual practices. More recently, investigations have broadened the range of sources used (e.g. works of medicine and natural science, exempla collections), in addition to analysing this evidence using novel, paradigm-shifting approaches (history of emotions, neuroscience, queer theory).

CISTERCIAN WORLDS, a two-day online conference open to all and sponsored by the York Centre for Medieval Studies and funded by the Wolfson Foundation, aims to offer a forum for researchers to build upon existing modes of scholarship and bring together discussions currently occurring across disciplines. How did an initial shared world-view create many different Cistercian ‘worlds’? What were the boundaries – real or imagined – of these spheres? Who composed them? In which ways did they extend, shrink, overlap, and evolve? What approaches can be used to study them?

As such, the conference will feature papers that distil the latest interdisciplinary research on the medieval Cistercians (writ large) and place the study of the Order into conversation with currents and themes outside the cloister walls. CISTERCIAN WORLDS, therefore, aims to showcase the evolving nature of Cistercian scholarship and the new directions that are now currently being taken.

The conference will feature two keynote presentations, 44 papers over two days, a roundtable and opportunities for socialising and networking. All papers will also be recorded and hosted on our website for six months.


July 1, 9:30 AM – Prof. Emilia Jamroziak (University of Leeds): ‘Cistercian Studies in the Twenty-first Century and the Journey Ahead’
July 2, 10:00 AM – Prof. Constant J. Mews (Centre for Religious Studies, Monash University, Australia): ‘Redefining the Soul in Cistercian Perspective: Reason, Affect and the Path of Music’


DAY 1 (JULY 1)

Session 1 (11:30 am – 1:00 pm)
1a: Cistercian Worlds in Portugal I – Worlds in Flux (Cistercian Horizons Project)
1b: Cistercian Women: Liturgy, Spirituality and Power
1c: Socio-Political Worlds and Landscapes

Session 2 (14:00 – 15:30)
2a: Cistercian Worlds in Portugal II – Manuscripts, Materiality and Content in Late Twelfth Century Portugal (Cistercian Horizons Project)
2b: Cistercian Thought: Cognition, Law and Philosophy
2c: Writing Cistercian Histories; Cistercians Writing History

Session 3 (16:00 – 17:30)
3a: Cistercian Worlds in Portugal III – Cistercian Women’s Houses in the Iberian Far-West (Cistercian Horizons Project)
3b: Cistercian Theology
3c: Cistercians and Others

DAY 2 (JULY 2)

Session 4 (11:30 – 13:00)
4a: Cistercian Networks
4b: Cistercians and their Eastern Connections
4c: Cistercian Landscapes

Session 5 (14:00 – 15:30)
5a: Art and Architecture I – The Decoration of Cistercian Buildings
5b: Cistercians, Illness and Death
5c: Cistercians and their Patrons

Session 6 (16:00 – 17:30)
6a: Art and Architecture II – Royal Connections
6b: Worlds of Education
6c: Cistercian Archives
6d: Northern Cistercian Worlds

Roundtable (16:30 – 17:30)
Roundtable participants: Prof. Janet Burton (University of Wales Trinity Saint David), Dr. Michael Carter (English Heritage), Dr Jesse Harrington (University of Cambridge), Prof. Emilia Jamroziak (University of Leeds), Dr Amelia Kennedy (Yale University) and Dr. Martha G. Newman (University of Texas, Austin).

How to register?
Please visit our Eventbrite page:

Want to see the full programme?–speakers.html

Need more information?
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Image credit: Photo: © Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. Cistercian Sermologium. 14th c. MS. Douce 185. Fol. 12v.