Wayward Monks and the Religious Revolution of the Eleventh Century

By Bernhardt, John W. | The Catholic Historical Review, April 1999 | Go to article overview

Wayward Monks and the Religious Revolution of the Eleventh Century


Bernhardt, John W., The Catholic Historical Review


Wayward Monks and the Religious Revolution of the Eleventh Century. By Phyllis G. Jestice. [Brill's Studies in Intellectual History, Volume 76.] (Leiden: Brill. 1997. Pp. x, 309. $115.00.)

Dr. Jestice has written a provocative and wide-ranging examination of monastic reform, the role of some monastics in the Church reform of the eleventh century, and the emergence within Benedictine monasticism of some new ideas about monastic spirituality and an expanded role of monks and ascetics in the world. Yet, readers should be warned that the rigor and clarity of Ms. Jestice's argumentation waxes and wanes, she often does not cite the most current scholarship, and the book contains some topographical as well as factual errors.

The book contains an introduction, a conclusion, and seven chapters, which form the body of the text. Jestice begins her introduction with a statement of her main argument that "the driving force behind monastic reform was the issue of monks' active involvement in the world:" She addresses the "state of the question" and explains how she intends to provide "an alternative theory on how and why monastic life diversified in the eleventh and twelfth centuries." For this "alternative theory" she offers an altered orientation, choosing to focus on the German empire including Italy during the tenth and eleventh centuries.

The first three chapters provide a topical overview of the worldly and spiritual dimensions of monasticism in the tenth century (chap. 1), investigate the changing notion of monastic mission and new interpretations of the concept of stabilitas (chap. 2), and examine recluses as the links between monks, stability, and monastic work in the world (chap. 3). While these chapters present the essential background of emerging ideas, one has to question how widespread some of them were within the broad range of monasticism in the empire. Moreover, the author underestimates the use of monasteries in imperial missionary activity in the tenth century (e.g., St. Maurice, Corvey, and probably Memleben) and perhaps overestimates the number and impact of recluses on monks.

Chapters 4 and 5 address monks and monastic reform in the early eleventh century. This reviewer found these chapters to be the most uneven and least rigorous in the book. The first sections of chapter 4 suffer from over-generalizations and lack of focus, whereas the last three sections present interesting ideas and relatively solid scholarship. One senses that Ms. Jestice pushes her hagiographical sources too hard and thus portrays a Benedictinism that was on the verge of collapse from the number of monks about to stream out the doors. Much of this literature indeed does demonstrate a growing diversity of thought and opinions, but the author seems to overstate her case. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Wayward Monks and the Religious Revolution of the Eleventh Century
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.