NIAS Seminar Series: Arnoud-Jan Bijsterveld and Steven Vanderputten

21 January 2010
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Around the year 1000, when in conflict with laymen, monks and bishops confronted their opponents collectively with warnings that divine wrath would hit them because of their ill-doings.

From the mid-eleventh century onwards however, we observe, a shift in ecclesiastical discourse, wherein they appeal to the individual's sense of responsibility for his behaviour in the light of his salvation. The lay offender was now called upon to reflect upon his own behaviour and to reconcile himself by doing penance. Laymen of both aristocratic and non-noble descent embraced the ethos of responsibility for one's own behaviour, just as they showed more involvement in religious and penitential practices. Furthermore, the increasing use of these arguments in litigation also allowed for the shaping of a new social and political order. At the heart of this process lay a tendency among both ecclesiastics and laymen to foster mutually recognised distinctions between them as socially advantageous.

The lecture is followed by an open discussion.
>The NIAS Seminar series is a sequence of lectures organised each academic year by the Rector of the Institute. These seminars are meant to appeal to interested parties from a wide range of backgrounds. It is hoped that the series will encourage closer contact within the Dutch academic world. The lectures are followed by an open discussion.