Conference on Cistercian and Monastic Studies Update

We’ve gathered all the abstracts and set up the panels for the Conference on Cistercian and Monastic Studies for May 2017. We have eleven panels planned: six will be part of the International Congress on Medieval Studies and five will be exclusive to the Cistercian Conference.

CCMS 2017 program

ICMS Sessions

The Intersection of Material and Spiritual Culture in Medieval Monasticism

Matthew Ponesse – Lessons from the cloister? The location of the monastic school in early Benedictine monasticism

Daniel La Corte – Aquatic Spirituality: The Aqua-culture and spirituality in the thought of the early Cistercians

Jason Crow – Reading Aelred of Rievaulx’s Architectural Metaphors by the Letter

Presider:  Paul Lockey


Pseudo-Bernard: The Writers, Works, and Readers

Elias Dietz –  Major Questions in the Study of Pseudo-Bernard Works as Exemplified by the Instructio sacerdotalis and the Tractatus de statu virtutum

Joshua Lim – On Pseudo-Bernard’s Tractatus de praecipuis mysteriis nostrae religionis

Breanna Nickel –  Pseudo-Bernard’s Tractatus de statu virtutum in Translation: Composition, Content, and “Bernardine” Themes

Presider:  Anne Astell


Memory and Memory Aids in Twelfth-Century Cistercian Writing

Marvin Döbler – Memory and Mnemonic Devices in Bernard of Clairvaux’s and Aelred of Rievaulx’s Sermons

Marsha Dutton and Margery Lange –  The Formation of Historical Memory in the Works of Aelred of Rievaulx

Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler – Multiformi disponens distinctione: Rhetorical Structure and Mnemonic Devices in Thomas the Cistercian’s Commentary on the Canticle

Presider:  Elias Dietz


The Cistercian and Monastic Inspiration for the Reformation: On the Occasion of the Five-Hundredth Anniversary of Luther’s Theses

Aage Rydstrøm-Poulsen – “Bernhardus ist uber alle Doctores in Ecclesia, wenn er predigt…” (Martin Luther)

Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen –  “I here but follow the holy Bernard of Clairvaux in his book On Consideration

Rose Marie Tillisch – The two monasteries of Grimma and their impact on the Lutheran Reformation

Klaus Wollenberg – The “case” Fuerstenfeld (campus principum) and Luther’s Theses

Presider:  Marvin Döbler


Cistercian Abbeys of Brittany

Joëlle Quaghebeur –  Les abbayes cisterciennes de Bretagne au XIIe siècle: lieux de prières et sentinelles politiques

Yves Gallet –  Acceptation et refus de la modernité stylistique dans l’architecture cistercienne. L’exemple de la Bretagne

Alexandra Gajewski –  Le Relecq Abbey: Constructing Uniformity on the Margins of the Christian World

Presider:  K. Paul Evans


Teaching Monasticism:  Panel

Virginia Blanton; Rabia Gregory; Maureen McGrane; Alkuin Schachenmayr and Judith Sutera

Presider:  Stefano Mula


Non- ICMS sessions

Monks and the World: Political and Economic Activities

Ryszard Gron – St. Bernard of Clairvaux and the Crusades

Francesco Capitummio –  Saint George’s Abbey in Gratteri – The First Cistercian Settlement in the Kingdom of Sicily?

Ralf Lützelschwab – Pope Clement VI (1342-52) as reformer of the Cistercian Order

Presider:  Jean Truax


Monastic Theology and Sermons

Glenn E. Myers – Adapting the Monastic Threefold Way: The Synthesis of Apophatic Darkness and the Existential Dark Night in the Sermons of Johannes Taule

Rev. Paul E. Lockey –  The Theology of the Tree of Life in On the Apocalypse by Geoffrey of Auxerre

Fr. Placid Morris –  Saint Bernard of Clairvaux’s Practical Christology in his Ascension Sermons

Nathaniel Peters – The Trinitarian Dimensions of Cistercian Eucharistic Theology

Presider:  Marsha Dutton


Monastic Lives

Jean A. Truax – The Wrong Side of History: Thomas Becket and Aelred of Rievaulx

Chad Turner – Ninian and the Rod of Aaron

Katherine Richman –  Exemplum as History: The Worlds of a Cistercian Nun

Presider:  Martha Kreig


Dubious Sources in Monastic History

Brian Patrick McGuire – The First Life of Bernard: Can we trust it?

Father Alcuin Schachenmayr – Popular Perceptions of Cistercians vs. Trappists in late 19th Century Austria

Stefano Mula –  Mortifera salutacio. Herbert of Torres’ version of the Devil’s Letter

Presider:  Anne Lester


Spirituality in Monastic Life

Isaac Slater –  “The Word Runs Swiftly”: the Symbolism of “Running” in Bernard and William

Very Rev. Dr. Luke Anderson –  Early Symptoms of Humanism in Bernard’s de Deligendo Deo

Greg Peters – The “Paradise of Inner Pleasure”: The “Monastery” in Medieval Monastic Spirituality

Presider:  Hugh Feiss


We’re delighted at the response and excited to hear all these papers. We do not have a final plan for the days and times of each panel yet.  We will post the final schedule early in 2017. A reminder that anyone who wishes to attend needs to register for the International Congress on Medieval Studies.  The site will open in February (  As always, please contact us with questions at


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