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Title: Hospitality in a Cistercian abbey : the case of Kirkstall in the Later Middle Ages
Author: Thomason, Richard James Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 1862
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines hospitality as provided by Cistercian communities via a case study of Kirkstall Abbey (Leeds, West Yorkshire). It analyses the practices of hospitality as enacted at Kirkstall over a long duration of time, and the place that hospitality had in the life of the community. Hospitality is explored through four concepts: the host, the space(s) of hospitality, the guest, and the welcome. Defining these elements enables the study of how they are represented in a wide variety of archaeological and textual sources. Spiritual writings, documentary evidence, and archaeological evidence are brought together to form a holistic, unified interpretation of Cistercian hospitality in its historical and material contexts. Chapter 1 is a study of Cistercians as hosts, and uses normative and spiritual texts to investigate how Cistercians conceived of hospitality within the framework of their observance. Chapter 2 analyses the spaces of hospitality with special reference to Kirkstall. In order to understand developments at Kirkstall more fully, a survey of Cistercian guest accommodation from the twelfth to sixteenth centuries is presented. Chapter 3 uses Kirkstall’s small finds and documentary sources to examine the social status, personal identities, and gender of guests. Chapter 4 assesses the facilities provided within the guest house and what activities took place there, including provision of food. Ultimately it is argued that hospitality was a fully integrated component of Cistercian observance, which allowed monks to connect with the wider world in a practical way while upholding the tenets of their observance.
Supervisor: Jamroziak, Emilia ; Baxter, Katherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available