Cluniac Monasticism Essay

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Cluniac Monasticism Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Cluniac monasticism between the tenth and twelfth centuries. The nature of Cluny lay in the circumstances of it’s foundation. It was endowed with a measure of independence by it’s founder, Duke William, allowing the monks to elect their own abbot, placing the abbey directly under the guardianship of St Peter and the Apostolic See. As a house dedicated to reviving strict Benedictine observance Cluny was not unique, but it was this indepencence, the succesion of talented abbots and it’s organisation set up by Abbot Berno that laid the foundations of the abbey’s later greatness. The independence granted Cluny in it’s foundation charter was esssential in the development of…show more content…
Charity and almsgiving also formed a regular part of life at Cluny, which again showed the holiness and faithful observence of the monks. It was a combination of the personal authority of the abbots, the benedictine observence of the Cluniacs and the repute and public esteem in which the order was held that resulted in the expansion of the Order. The success of the order in it’s resoration of benedictine observence attracted invitations by lay magnates for the Cluniacs to reform their monastries, and gifts of houses, some new foundations, some old abbeys. Such reform was not always welcomed by the monks of the profered houses, such as the monks of Fleury. Papal paronage, and the will of lay benefactors meant that from the time of Odilo these reformed houses became dependecies of Cluny. This was not always put into effect immediately, and the tightness of the bond varied from house to house. It was the independence granted in the founding charter that allowed the Order to expand this way, and develop independently. Not only was Cluny free from control of any local magnate or bishop, it was also trusted by all due to this autonomy. Cluny attracted gifts from all levels of society and of all sorts, from monstries, churches and lands, to child oblates, gifts of money large and small and goods. It also attracted many
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