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Title: Peter Damian and 'the World' : asceticism, reform and society in eleventh-century Italy
Author: Gledhill, Michael
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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The aim of this thesis is to conduct an analysis of Peter Damian’s letters specifically grounded in the immediate social and political contexts within which the letters were produced. Whilst Damian (c. 1007 - 1072) is generally seen as an important figure in the history of the Church as a whole, he is rarely studied as an active member of his contemporary Italian society. This thesis will seek to relate the ecclesiastical to the social, and the clerical/monastic to the lay, and to integrate Damian’s approach to women and to gender into the broader picture of his activity in northern and central Italy. The thesis examines how Damian interacted with "the world" — what he saw as constituting the "saeculum", and how he set himself apart from it. As a hermit, prior, cardinal, papal legate and reformer, Damian straddled institutions, and came into contact with powerful lay people and ecclesiastics alike. What must be done is to build a context, through these interactions, for Damian’s rhetoric. There is a sizable corpus of material relating to Damian’s social contacts, comprising letters, charters and some narrative works. His role as prior of Fonte Avellana brought him into a series of complex relationships with religious institutions and laymen, yet it remains understudied. Through this material we can see how Damian’s positioning of himself as being ’otherworldly’ was in fact a key aspect of how he acted in the world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available