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Title: The Celestine monks of France, c. 1350-1450 : monastic reform in an age of Schism, councils and war
Author: Shaw, Robert Laurence John
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 7207
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis focuses on the Celestine monks of France, a largely neglected and distinctive reformed Benedictine congregation, at their apex of growth (c.1350-1450). Based largely within the kingdom of France, but also including key houses in the contiguous territories of Lorraine and the Comtat, they expanded significantly in this period, from four monasteries to seventeen within a hundred years. They also gained independence from the mother congregation in Italy with the coming of the Great Western Schism (1376-1418). The study aims view the French Celestines against the backdrop of a vibrant culture of 'reform' within both the monastic estate (the Observants) and the Church as a whole, as well as the political instability and war in France. It will reveal a congregation alive with the passions of their times and relevant within them. Following an introductory section, chapter 1 will discuss the previously unstudied Vita of the leading French Celestine Jean Bassand (d.1445) in depth and introduce the key themes of the subsequent chapters. Chapter 2 will examine their Constitutions, in the process providing perspective on their hyper-scrupulous understanding of sin and the relation of their statutes to the Christian idea of 'reform'. Chapter 3 will look to anecdotal evidence concerning the quality of their observance in practice, as well the spiritual and moral writings of Pierre Pocquet (d.1408), another important Celestine leader. Chapter 4 will begin to establish how and why the order grew, examining records of benefaction (contemporary martyrologies and charters) as well as taking view of the financial (and in the end, moral) difficulties brought by war through the documents concerning the reductions of founded masses at the Paris and Sens houses. Chapter 5 will look at monumental and anecdotal/literary evidence, as well as the works of Jean Gerson, a friend of the order, to further define the cultural impact of the monks.
Supervisor: Thompson, Benjamin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Late antiquity and the Middle Ages ; Monastic History ; Monasticism ; Celestine ; Celestines ; Benedictine ; Later Medieval ; Later Middle Ages ; France ; French History ; Council of Constance ; Conciliar Reform ; Hundred Years War ; Jean Gerson