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Jamie Irvine


Project Overview

This AHRC-funded project concerns the causal origins of the 'new monastic orders' in Western Europe between c.1050 and 1156, most prominently the orders of Cîteaux, la Grande Chartreuse, the 'strong square' orders of Fontevraud, Tiron, and Savigny, and the movement of 'canons regular' around Paris.

It takes a 'generative' approach to understanding the appearance of new monastic ideologies, focussing on the practical and structural responses of the new orders to the novel and overbearing power of traditional Benedictine establishments like Cluny, in contrast to the 'transmissive' approach favoured in historiography thus far, which has sought to locate the origins of these ideologies in a process of transmission and spread from Greece, to Italy, and finally to France.

The project thus aims not only to discover the causal origins of the new orders, but also to suggest more appropriate models of epistemic causation in history generally.

Research interests

  • Western Monasticism c.910-1215
  • Spatial, visual, and macroscopic approaches to large-scale trends in the 10th to 13th centuries
  • Philosophy of History (especially Neo-Kantian approaches to conceptual analysis)