The horizons of Guibert of Gembloux (1124/25-1214). Historical-anthropological research into the world of a Benedictine letter writer from the decades after the so-called 'crisis of cenobitism'

De horizonten van Guibertus van Gembloers (1124/25-1214). Historisch-antropologisch onderzoek naar de wereld van een benedictijnse briefschrijver uit de decennia na de ‘crisis’ van het traditionele cenobitisme
Begin - Einde 
2009 - 2013 (afgewerkt)
Vakgroep Geschiedenis



Up to now, the Benedictine monk and abbot Guibert of Gembloux (c 1124-1214) has primarily inspired medievalists as the last secretary of Hildegard of Bingen, the famous Rhenish prophetess. However, this fascinating and well-documented figure merits scholarly attention in his own right. His letters and hagiographical works, in addition to the texts and manuscripts that were produced under his supervision, provide a unique insight into both Guibert of Gembloux as an individual and into the world in which he lived his long life and built his network.

Dr Moens has reconstructed the horizons of this traditional monk during a period in which the world surrounding the Benedictine communities underwent profound spiritual, social, economic and intellectual changes. She further contextualizes the sources concerning Guibert and his world by juxtaposing them to a broad range of diverse source material, e.g. other letter-collections, visionary texts, historiography, charters, etc. This thesis illuminates how a Benedictine monk viewed the changing world around him and offers a glimpse into the way traditional coenobitism positioned itself within a changing religious and intellectual landscape after the middle of the 12th century, especially in Northwestern Europe (the Southern Netherlands, the Rhineland and Northern France).