Past Event

Columbia Medieval Studies Seminar: Lauren Mancia (Brooklyn College)

September 26, 2019
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Columbia University Faculty House

Professor Lauren Mancia will present "Affective Piety in the Eleventh-Century Monastery." Lauren Mancia is an Assistant Professor of History at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She specializes in the devotional culture of medieval monasteries in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Apart from several articles on this subject, she recently published her first monograph, Emotional Monasticism: Affective Piety at the Eleventh-Century Monastery of John of Fécamp (Manchester University Press, 2019). The abstract for her talk is below.

"Scholars of the Middle Ages have long taught that highly emotional Christian devotion to a suffering crucified Christ, often called ‘affective piety’, originated in Europe after the twelfth century, and was primarily practiced by late medieval communities of mendicants, lay people, and/or women. Stemming from Mancia’s new book, Emotional Monasticism: Affective Piety at the Eleventh-Century Monastery of John of Fécamp (Manchester, 2019), this talk will trace the early Benedictine monastic history of affective devotion through the life and work of the earliest-known writer of emotional prayers, John of Fécamp, abbot of the Norman monastery of Fécamp from 1028-1078 C.E.. The talk will first examine John’s major work, the Confessio theologica (written ca. 1023-1028), defining the type of affective devotion contained therein. It will then trace the kind of emotional piety found in John’s writing throughout the emotion-filled devotional program of Fécamp’s wider liturgical, homiletic, and intellectual culture. The talk will then briefly address John’s later medieval legacy in famous late medieval examples beyond Fécamp and Normandy, and will ultimately conclude with some thoughts on why we as scholars might be reluctant to place affective piety in the earlier period and in the central medieval Benedictine monastery, and what happens when we neglect to do so."


The talk at 5:30pm will be followed by dinner at Faculty House at 7:00pm. All those who wish to dine with Lauren Mancia should contact Carly Quijano at by Wednesday, September 19th. Dinner is a fixed buffet menu, which costs $30 per person. Payment is only by check made out to “Columbia University"

The event will be held in Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive. As usual, social hour will be from 5-6, dinner 6-7, and the talk 7-8:30. The cost for dinner, payable by check only, is $30.  When you RSVP please indicate whether or not you plan to come to dinner; please give 10 days advance notice.