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Kirsten Schut: “Dominican life and learning in fourteenth-century Naples”

January 11, 2019 at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Location:433 Paterson Hall History Lounge

Event poster featuring a Dominican master teaching, from a fourteenth-century manuscript that belonged to the Dominicans of NaplesThe History Department invites you to a talk by Kirsten Schut, Contract Instructor, as part of our Friday Occasion Series. Join us in the History Department Lounge, 433 Paterson, at 10:00am.

About the Lecture:

Naples in the first half of the fourteenth century was one of the cultural and intellectual hotspots of late medieval Europe. The royal court flourished as a centre for patronage, and in addition to a university, Naples boasted several major schools run by the mendicant orders, such as the Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinians. My current project uses the life and works of a teacher at one of these schools, the Dominican friar John of Naples (d. ca. 1350), to investigate the relationship between the Dominicans of Naples and their city, and the connections between Naples and other cultural centres, such as Paris and Avignon. Using techniques developed at the University of Paris, John helped to train the friars of his convent to be effective teachers, preachers, and confessors. But he was also much more than a teacher: he advised the kings and queens of Naples and preached in their support, and worked to maintain good relations between the Dominicans and the local aristocracy. His example demonstrates that the Dominicans of Naples were deeply embedded in their community, but their educational and pastoral mission was mainly directed towards the local elite.