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Imagining Religious Leadership in the Middle AgesRichard of Saint-Vanne and the Politics of Reform$
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Steven Vanderputten

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453779

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453779.001.0001

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“Founder and Head of Many Monasteries”

“Founder and Head of Many Monasteries”

(p.104) Chapter 4 “Founder and Head of Many Monasteries”
Imagining Religious Leadership in the Middle Ages

Steven Vanderputten

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines various accounts that describe Richard as institutor et rector—“founder/master and head”—of many monastic communities. Sigebert of Gembloux claimed that Richard was “preaching everywhere in the fervor of holy observance,” which makes him a source of inspiration for many others who were involved in the government of monastic institutions. Also, the anonymous author of the Vita Richardi added that Richard was forming an institutionalized “movement” through yearly meetings at Saint-Vanne of all his associated abbots. Several other authors from the twelfth century would also allude to Richard's supposed role as founder/master. The chapter argues that his primary motivation in leading many monasteries was to create efficient and secluded communities of ascetic monks.

Keywords:   institutor et rector, monastic communities, Sigebert of Gembloux, Vita Richardi, monasteries, ascetic monks, Richard of Saint-Vanne

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