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Gert Melville (TU Dresden, History): "Transcending Institutions: A Medieval Way to Individual Freedom"

February 28, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Building 260, Room 252

Gert Melville will speak about a wide field of his current research on the medieval phenomenon of 'transcending institutions' (in German: "Institutionstranszendenz").  In his paper, he will present a range of specific cases, combined with fundamental reflexions on the medieval freedom of individuals beyond and against ecclesiastical rules - a type of freedom that is (paradoxically) legitimized by a direct communication with God. One of his basic references are Saint Paul's words "ubi spiritus Domini, ibi libertas" and "iusto lex non est posita," which had an imposing reception in both practical and theological, juridical and social structures of the Middle Ages. Thus, the paper touches upon a very problematic dimension of the institutional character of the Church on the one hand, and, on the other hand, analyzes a specific form of the medieval emergence of individuality - a phenomenon which, above all, can be observed in the monastic world.

Research Group: