John’s medieval legacy
The monastic roots of affective piety
in Emotional monasticism
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This chapter examines John’s legacy after his death, both at Fécamp and in the wider medieval spiritual landscape. The chapter first shows how John’s students and followers at Fécamp elaborated on the seeds of affective devotion that John’s Confessio theologica planted: a cult to the precious blood of Christ was established at Fécamp; John’s students Maurilius of Rouen and Gerbert of Saint-Wandrille wrote affective prayers to a crucified Christ; Guibert of Nogent, a Norman monk, wrote his own memoir in the style of Augustine’s Confessions thanks to John; and, most famously, Anselm of Bec wrote his prayers and meditations, following in the steps of the greatest Norman abbot of the generation before him. This chapter moves on to discuss how John’s Confessio theologic’s ideas changed in the hands of the Cistercians, and how they circulated in the later Middle Ages, often misattributed in manuscripts to Anselm or Bernard or Francis. This chapter concludes by making clear the parts of John’s Confessio theologica’s devotional method that served as the foundation for later medieval affective devotional practice, and the parts of John’s ideas that abandoned in later iterations of affective devotion practised by Cistercians, mendicants, mystics, and the laity.

Emotional monasticism

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

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