Freising and the Slavs under bishop Abraham. A text-based approach to mission and pastoral care among the Carantanians in the 10th century

Start - End 
2021 - 2025 (ongoing)



The Carantanians have been the first Slavic people to be converted to Christendom. Their conversion dates to the 8th century, one hundred years before the advent of Cyrillus and Methodius. Unlike their famous successors, the Bavarian missionaries of the Carantani did not leave behind a body of literature of liturgic and pastoral texts in vernacular Slavic. The only linguistic remains of the Bavarian missionary efforts are the so-called Freising monuments, three short texts on sin and confession in an otherwise Latin miscellany from the 10th century that can be linked to bishop Abraham of Freising (957- 994). The relationship of these texts to the activities of the diocese of Freising under bishop Abraham have for a long time been subject to scholarly speculation, but research into the Freising Slavic mission has never been taken much beyond the painstaking, but isolated study of the three texts in question. The contextualisation of the three texts within the manuscript itself and within the rich manuscript heritage of Freising under Abraham, has never been systematically undertaken. Research remained philological and linguistic, where it should have turned cultural historical. The project aims at taking this overdue step and place the Freising texts into their cultural historical context through an ethnographically informed analysis of the whole body of the 10th century Freising manuscript heritage.


Phd Student(s)