This project defines the special relationship between Rome and exempt French monasteries in the Middle Ages. It examines the origins, nature, and development of monastic privileges, which ultimately contributed to shaping the ecclesiastical and political structure of pre-modern Europe. Focusing on individual French monasteries and their struggles to secure papal protection, this study questions the socio-political and legal reasons impelling such relationships and the consequences for all involved. It argues that the processes for attaining monastic autonomy strengthen our understanding of local spiritual-secular politics, helping also to explain an emerging and independent image of papal authority.
This fellowship is sponsored by the Forschungsstelle für Vergleichende Ordensgeschichte, Technische Universität, Dresden.