Order and Exclusion: Cluny and Christiandom Face Heresy, Judaism, and Islam, 1000-1150 / Edition 1

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Order and Exclusion is a rare and magnificent book of medieval history with clear relevance to today's headlines. Through the lens of the polemics of Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny, Dominique Iogna-Prat examines the process by which christianity transformed itself into Christendom, a powerful spiritual, social, and political system with pretensions to universality. Iogna-Prat's close examination of a set of writings central to the history of Catholicism resolves into a deeply troubling study of the origins of attitudes that continue to shape world events. Iogna-Prat writes that "versions of fundamentalism nourished by the soil of an often terrible common history" show that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have all been capable of intolerance.Peter the Venerable's writings had a far-reaching impact: the powerful network of Clunaic houses expanded from the founding of the original monastery of Cluny to dominate Christendom by the twelfth century. This Christendom, Iogna-Prat demonstrates, defined itself in part through its increasingly bitter struggles against its perceived enemies both within and without. Peter the Venerable's all-pervasive logic pitted the "order" of the monastery and its hierarchical society against all those—heretics, Jews, Muslims, lepers—outside its bounds. In his proclamations against Jews and Muslims, Peter devised a Christian anthropology: in his view, to be non-Christian was to be non-human. The power of the Church came at a great and lasting price.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This new interpretation of monasticism's influence and the deep roots of intolerance is strongly recommended for academic and seminary libraries."—Library Journal, January 2003

"Anyone who wishes to understand how monasticism took shape in Western Europe and how it was, exactly, that monks and monasteries fit into the whole of medieval society will find here a superb introduction to the subject that is not only anchored in an impressive array of primary sources but also in constant conversation with other historians through footnotes as dense as the forests of medieval Europe. Though this is a book aimed at scholars, nonspecialists should not fear getting lost. . . . 'Order and Exclusion' is indispensable reading, especially for anyone trying to understand the deep roots of the religiously inspired fanaticisms that still bedevil us in the 21st century."—Los Angeles Times Book Review, August 10, 2003

"There is much food for thought in this book, which is marked by broad learning and a close reading of the texts."—Giles Constable, Institute for Advanced Study, American Historical Review, April 2004

"Dominique Iogna-Prat's Order and Exclusion: Cluny and Christendom Face Heresy, Judaism, and Islam is such a welcome and needed contribution to the field. . . . Iogna-Prat's approach will be helpful for those seeking to understand relations between majority and minority relations in places and times far distant from twelfth-century France, and this lucid translation will bring his work to the wider audience it deserves."—Lucy K. Pick, University of Chicago, The Journal of Religion

"Dr. Iogna-Prat's book, Ordonner et exclure (1998), which here appears in a very satisfactory English translation, has two themes. One is the evolution from a loosely-structured medieval society to one dominated by an order that was strictly conceived and repressive to dissent. The other, which the author sees as closely connected with the first, is the spirituality and thinking of the order of Cluny. . . . The strength of this study lies in its understanding of Clunaic thought, and to that it makes a real and important contribution."—Colin Morris, The Catholic Historical Review, April 2004

"This is an interesting and well-written book, which I very much enjoyed. The argument is certainly convincing. Scores of people were marginalized in the central Middle Ages as western Europeans began to order their world. Various religious, social, economic, cultural, and political changes came together to make for a more cohesive society and one of the terrible and paradoxical results of this new cohesion was exclusion. . . . The greater goal of this book is to foster tolerance in the present; it asks Catholics and non-Catholics to reflect on and come to terms with troubling aspects of the religion's long history. . . . Works such as these could serve as catalysts for change."—Dawn Marie Hayes, H-Catholic, H-Net Reviews, July 2004

"Order and Exclusion is a powerful, important, and disturbing book. Dominique Iogna-Prat marshals his intimate knowledge of Cluniac sources and his perfect command of German, French, and Anglo-American scholarship to produce a micro-historical analysis of a crucial moment and a pivotal institution in the process of turning western Christianity into a culture of repression. The most unsettling aspect of this book is its convincing demonstration that the very aspiration to universalism at the heart of Cluniac ideology, in the hands of Peter the Venerable, its greatest intellectual, created not only a theology but an anthropology focused on sexual abstinence and religious sacrifice. Peter the Venerable's work exalted celibate clerics and excluded heretics, Jews, and Muslims, not only from the community of the faithful but also from humanity itself."—Patrick J. Geary, University of California Los Angeles

"After its reordering in the eleventh century Latin Europe demanded religious conformity more insistently, and excluded those who failed to satisfy it more ruthlessly, at every social level, than any other world civilization. From the perspective of one of medieval Christendom's most central institutions, Cluny, and through the eyes of one of its most compelling and commanding figures, Peter the Venerable, Order and Exclusion provides the most intimate account we have yet had of how and why this came to be so. It is enthrallingly readable, and fundamental in every sense."—R. I. Moore, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

"Just think of what effects identification with Rome had on Christianity and you'll be ready to confront this challenging study by Iogna-Prat, for something comparable happened to Cluniac monasticism as its pretensions became intertwined with those of the world-embracing Gregorian papacy. No wonder the vita apostolica sought refuge elsewhere."—Lester K. Little, American Academy in Rome and Smith College

"Dominique Iogna-Prat's Order and Exclusion is a wonderful book, and a very important book both for its insight on twelfth-century treatment of the 'Other,' and for its presentation of life at Cluny in that era. . . Beautifully translated and produced, this book will change the way that we think about the twelfth century and the origins of the intolerance of our own age."—Constance H. Berman, University of Iowa

Library Journal
French medieval historian Iogna-Prat (director, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) argues that Peter the Venerable (1122-57), abbot of Cluny, was a pivotal figure in the development of the Church and its intolerance of the Other. In analyzing the abbot's writings in the context of the time, Iogna-Prat shows how Peter the Venerable contributed to the development of Christendom (a sociopolitical entity) out of Christianity (a spiritual community). He shows how this led to the increasing identification of Church with a sacred place rather than as a spiritual body; to the rise of papal prerogative and power as well as to Cluny's burgeoning self-identification as Church in miniature; and to its active purifying of the Church by confronting enemies within, such as wayward laity, and without, such as Jews and Saracens. As the author significantly points out, Pope Urban II, proclaimer of the First Crusade, came from Cluny. Church hierarchical centralization led to Christian self-definition by exclusion of the Other and to seeing the Other as inhuman, even demonic, a tendency still found in current anti-Semitism. This new interpretation of monasticism's influence and the deep roots of intolerance is strongly recommended for academic and seminary libraries.-Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Univ., Farmville, VA
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Translator's Note
Introduction: A Journey through Christendom via Cluny 1
Pt. I The Monks and the World Order
1 The "Ordering" of Christendom 9
2 A Monastic Church within the Church 26
Pt. II Christian Society: Peter the Venerable's Contra Petrobrusianos and Its Background
3 "Purging" the Church 99
4 Polemic Method 120
5 The Church's Foundations: Baptism and Places of Worship 148
6 The Church's Cornerstone: The Sacrifice of Christ 182
7 The Living and the Dead 219
8 Christian Society Revealed by Its Outsiders 253
Pt. III Christian Universality: Peter the Venerable's Adversus Iudeos and Contra sectam Sarracenorum and Their Background
9 The Unstoppable Spread of Christendom 265
10 "O Jew, I dare not call thee man ..." 275
11 Islam and the Antichrist 323
12 "Concerning Repressed Things Which Enable Humans to Live in Society" 358
Bibliography 367
Index 387
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