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Abstract only
Alison I. Beach
,
Shannon M.T. Li
, and
Samuel S. Sutherland

Book One tells of the origins of the monastery, beginning with a hagiographical account of the monastery’s founder Bishop Gebhard II of Constance (r. 979–995). After an imaginative retelling of Gebhard’s illustrious ancestry and early life, the author describes his founding of the monastery, including information about the provisions of land and laborers, the original art and architecture of the church, the procurement of a papal privilege, and the acquisition of saints’ relics. The first book concludes with stories from Gebhard’s later years and an account of his death and burial at Petershausen.

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
Abstract only
Alison I. Beach
,
Shannon M.T. Li
, and
Samuel S. Sutherland

The brief sixth book opens with the election of Abbot Gebhard I (1164–1171) and continues with sporadic entries in various hands, ending in 1203. Donations by and conflicts with lay patrons are discussed in brief. A short entry informs us that Abbot Gebhard, who was possibly the original chronicler, was deposed.

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
Abstract only
Alison I. Beach
,
Shannon M.T. Li
, and
Samuel S. Sutherland

Book Three begins with the arrival of the Hirsau reformers at Petershausen, including a brief biography of the reforming abbot Theodoric (r. 1086–1116) and a detailed description of his material renovation of the monastery. An extended series of miracles, visions, and anecdotes follow, many of which serve as subtle commentaries on the success and challenges of the reform. The book then describes the efforts of the monks to establish and manage daughter houses, which presents many setbacks and challenges for the monastery. In the midst of these efforts, the investiture controversy emerges again, but this time at the local level. Conflict and even a short exile ensue when a pro-imperial bishop is installed at Constance. After the conflict ends in Theodoric’s favor, an account of his death follows, commemorating his unique character and contributions to the library.

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
Abstract only
Alison I. Beach
,
Shannon M.T. Li
, and
Samuel S. Sutherland

Book Two describes the subsequent growth of the monastery and the various challenges it faced along the way. At many points, the monks come into conflict with the bishops of Constance or their own lay patrons, often with God or St. Gebhard intervening or exacting vengeance on their behalf. The book also includes an account of the early Investiture Controversy, which is heavily biased against the emperor and intriguingly problematic in its reconstruction of specific events. The book closes by introducing the Hirsau Reform.

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
Abstract only
Alison I. Beach
,
Shannon M.T. Li
, and
Samuel S. Sutherland

Introduces chronicle and places into its historical context. The Hirsau Reform and its role at Petershausen is discussed at length, and a broad overview of the social landscape of Swabia in the central Middle Ages is provided. The manuscript of the chronicle is discussed briefly, and important notes about the translation are provided.

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
The Chronicle of Petershausen in translation

The twelfth-century Chronicle of Petershausen, composed over the course of more than thirty years, opens a rare window on the life-world of a medieval monastery as it struggles to grow and survive within tumultuous spiritual and temporal landscapes.

From its founding by St. Gebhard II of Constance as a proprietary episcopal monastery in 992 through the aftermath of the great fire that ravaged the community in 1159 and beyond, Petershausen encountered both external attacks and internal disruption and division. Across the pages of the chronicle, supra-regional clashes between emperors and popes play out at the most local level. Monks struggle against the influence of overreaching bishops. Reformers arrive and introduce new and unfamiliar customs. Tensions erupt into violence within the community. Advocates attack. Miracles, visions, and relics link the living and the dead. Through it all the anonymous chronicler struggles to find meaning amid conflict and chaos and forge connections to a distant past. Along the way, this monk enlivens his narrative with countless colorful anecdotes – sometimes amusing, sometimes disturbing – creating a history for the monastery with its own unique voice.

Intended for specialists and students alike, this volume presents the first translation into English of this fascinating text, which offers a unique glimpse into the lived experience of medieval monasticism and its interactions with the society around it.

Abstract only
Alison I. Beach
,
Shannon M.T. Li
, and
Samuel S. Sutherland

The Chronicle opens with a prologue that is stylistically and thematically distinct from the rest of the text, and which may originally have been written as an independent treatise by the same author. In it, the chronicler uses biblical exegesis to trace the apostolic origins of the various aspects of monastic practice. The author then recounts the origins of other monastic and ecclesiastical professions – regular canons, bishops, clerics, holy virgins, solitaries, inclusi, pilgrims, and beggars – concluding that each agrees on one faith.

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
Alison I. Beach
,
Shannon M.T. Li
, and
Samuel S. Sutherland

An account of the Translation of the relics of St. Gebhard describes in detail the festivities surrounding the canonization of the monastery’s founder and the consecration of the newly renovated church and chapels.

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
The biblical identity politics of the Demerara Slave Rebellion
John Coffey

The British missionary enterprise disseminated the Bible across the empire with often unintended consequences. The reception of the Protestant Scriptures among colonial subjects was anything but passive. Readers and hearers appropriated scriptural texts in their own distinctive, even subversive ways. Surviving sources, however, are often less revealing about this process than we might like, and it can be hard to get beyond the voice of the missionary to that of the native convert. This chapter explores a unique set of sources: the trial records of the London Missionary Society (LMS) missionary John Smith, who was prosecuted (and died in prison) for allegedly ‘exciting the negroes to rebellion’ in the sugar colony of Demerara in 1823. Smith and his black congregants were cross-questioned at length about the use and abuse of the Bible. The records offer a unique window on the use of the Bible in missionary chapels, its reception among enslaved hearers, and the sensitivities of colonial authorities. It was also emblematic of a larger shift – the growing identification of black Protestants with Old Testament Israel, and the problematising of Britain’s identity as a new Israel.

in Chosen peoples
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Identity, genealogy, legacy
David N. Livingstone

The concluding afterword assesses the contribution of the preceding chapters to current debates about the roles of science and religion in shaping notions of identity, genealogy and legacy in the nineteenth century. Drawing on examples from various parts of the globe, the chapter posits the career of the American scientist, racist and biblical apologist Alexander Winchell as emblematic of some of the new directions and questions raised by this volume. The issues of identity and genealogy which pervade Winchell’s ethno-biblical science, and its enduring legacy, resonate with many of the topics interrogated by the volume. The preceding chapters confirm just how significant the Bible has been in the manufacturing and moulding of various identities. Lines of descent were also critical to the task of securing and stabilising identities. Whether human languages were of monogenetic or polygenetic origin exercised the minds of numerous students of philology. The use of the labels Hamitic, Japhetic and Semitic to designate lines of linguistic ancestry discloses how intimately connected the early science of language was with biblical thought-forms. The chapter concludes by exploring the pervasive legacy of the ideas and movements scrutinised in the volume in the present day.

in Chosen peoples