Mittwoch, 24. Oktober 2018, 10:00 - 17:00 iCal

Rethinking Scholastic Communities

across Medieval Eurasia II:


Bibliothek am Institut für Mittelalterforschung (ÖAW)
Hollandstraße 11-13, 3. Stock, 1020 Wien

Seminar, Workshop, Kurs

In a series of three one-day workshops, VISCOM tackles scholasticism across the three religions Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, by focusing, respectively, on the formation of scholastic communities, authority and authorship, and intellectual methods and practices. Rather than taking scholasticism as a period in history, the workshop approaches it as a distinctly recognizable phenomenon in several religious traditions and thus in a comparative framework. Scholastics are typically committed to a systematic exploration of faith or doctrine, and avail themselves of a toolkit comprising logic and exegesis. In this workshop series, we build up on earlier studies that argued for scholasticism as a cross-cultural category as well as on research conducted in VISCOM's special focus on “enclaves of learning”, and propose to revisit the phenomenon of specialist intellectual cultures in medieval religions from a perspective that integrates the exploration of textual and intellectual aspects of religion with issues of social practice and process.

This second workshop in the series revolves around issues of authority in connection with the authorship of religious literature, thus fostering a socioreligious perspective on the formation of scholastic literature with distinct textual genres. What genres of literature do particular scholastic cultures devise and cultivate, and what can be said about their social function in settings of education, learning or religious debate? What is the role of individual or collective authorship (or the lack thereof) in scholastic cultures? How is authorship related to claims of authority, in view of overarching approaches to scriptural authority that may apply in the respective religious tradition? Is scholastic literature self-contained and confined to a smaller circle of specialist élites? Are there any specific features governing the production and dissemination of scholastic literature within a broader context of book and manuscript culture?

In three sessions, external speakers are paired with VISCOM members as respondents that open up broader discussion with the audience.


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Sophie Gruber
Institut für Mittelalterforschung (ÖAW)