Introduction
in Emotional monasticism
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The Introduction presents how the traditional story of medieval ‘affective piety’ is more complicated than we have tended to allow in the historiography. I summarise this historiography, showing how it has neglected the possibility of affectivity before Anselm and in the eleventh-century male Benedictine context. I argue that by looking at Fécamp as a wellspring of eleventh-century monastic affective piety, we can better understand what its uses were, as well as its reception, in its earliest identified medieval context. I assert that attention to emotional devotion in the Benedictine context deepens our understanding of Benedictine monasticism itself, bringing into focus both the spiritual lives of monastic individuals and the interior dimensions of eleventh-century monastic reform. Emotional reform emerges as an important aspect of my picture of the period, alongside the practices of exterior, regular, or institutional reform already detailed by other scholars.

Emotional monasticism

Affective piety in the eleventh-century monastery of John of Fécamp

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