Sunday, May 19, 2024
Eldevik presents paper at international conference - News

Eldevik presents paper at international conference – News

Professor of History presents paper on Networks and Entanglements in the Cult of Saints

In July, Professor of History John Eldevik presented a thought-provoking paper at the annual International Medieval Congress in Leeds, England. His paper was part of a distinguished panel focused on the intriguing topic of “Networks and Entanglements in the Cult of Saints.”

Examining the Hirsau Network and Crusader Saints in the 12th Century

Eldevik’s presentation, entitled “Martyrdom, Memory, and Reform: The Hirsau Network and Crusader Saints in the 12th Century,” delved deep into the history of two captivating saints’ cults that emerged in the mid-twelfth century. These cults were intricately linked to a network of German monasteries associated with the renowned Hirsau Reform.

The Influence of Thiemo of Salzburg and Ernest of Zwiefalten

The cults of Thiemo of Salzburg and Ernest of Zwiefalten gained significant momentum during this period. Both saints were believed to have met their martyrdom while participating in the Crusades. Their stories and revered status played a vital role in strengthening the commitments of the reformed monastic communities as well as their lay patrons to the Crusade movement.

Bolstering Commitments Amidst the Aftermath of the Second Crusade

The rise of these cults occurred at a crucial juncture, following the catastrophic Second Crusade that took place between 1146 and 1148. This ill-fated expedition led to the humbling defeat of Christian armies in the Holy Land. As a result, the efforts to rekindle and sustain enthusiasm for the Crusade movement were of utmost importance.

Reviving Hope and Fostering Devotion

The martyrdom of Thiemo of Salzburg and Ernest of Zwiefalten served as potent symbols of sacrifice and bravery. Their stories served to reignite hope in the hearts of the reformed monastic communities and their lay patrons, encouraging them to once again contribute to the Crusade movement. These cults reinforced the notion that the Christian cause was worth fighting for, despite previous setbacks.

A Network Strengthened by Belief and Devotion

Within the Hirsau Network of monasteries, the cults of Thiemo and Ernest fostered a shared sense of devotion and commitment among the various communities. It was through this interconnected network that stories of martyrdom and religious fervor spread, consolidating the resolve of those involved.


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