Showing posts with label Chris Monk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chris Monk. Show all posts

Monday, 10 January 2011

CFP: Before Man and God: Sin, Confession, Forgiveness and Redemption in the Anglo-Saxon World

Sixth Annual Postgraduate Conference
March 7-8, 2011
John Rylands Library, Deansgate
University of Manchester

Before Man and God
Sin, Confession, Forgiveness and Redemption in the Anglo-Saxon World

In Anglo-Saxon England, the priest was expected to teach both from the Bible and his Scriftboc (handbook of penance). He was to educate his flock in matters of sin, make judgements on the size of tariffs for penance, and show the sinner how to atone for his misdeeds. Sinners were urged to confess with humility all their sins, whatever their nature. Better to feel shame before a man now than to do so before God on Judgement Day!

This conference aims to draw together evidence for the practice of private confession throughout the Anglo-Saxon period and to situate it within the history of confession up to and including the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, when the Church stipulated an annual requirement for confession. In doing this, it also aims to explore the Anglo-Saxon world through its understanding of sin, confession, penance, forgiveness and redemption. It will ask questions such as: How did the theology of confession influence Anglo-Saxon society more broadly? What was the impact on law? How are sin and confession represented in literature, art and architecture? Can the evidence from penitential literature be understood as social commentary?

Postgraduate and early-career researchers are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 250 words for 20-minute papers that engage with the conference's themes. The following list of topics for consideration is not exhaustive:

  • Anglo-Saxon penitential literature: the relationship of vernacular texts to Latin sources; the relationship between penitentials and law codes; penance tariffs
  • Anglo-Saxon confessional literature within the history of private and/or public confession: comparative analysis of Irish and continental penitentials; comparative analysis of later confessional literature (twelfth- and thirteenth-century)
  • Sin as (theological) discourse: e.g. the meaning of sin, including guilt and shame
  • The priest and his scriftboc: pastoral care and education
  • Confession/penance and types of sin: e.g. sexual sins, theft, manslaughter
  • Fasting, almsgiving and singing psalms
  • Penitential/confessional dialogue
  • Confession and gender; confession and status
  • Anglo-Saxon readings of original sin
  • Confession as poetic motif
  • The confessional 'self'
  • Sin/the sinner/confession/penance in Anglo-Sexon art and sculpture
  • Judgement Day: the sinner before God in literature and/or art

A keynote address and masterclass will be delivered by Dr. Catherine Cubitt (York)


Submissions by January 28th, 2011 and registration enquiries to Christopher Monk.


Conference supported by SAGE, SAHC and John Rylands Library, Deansgate