Ecclesia / Iustitia


Ecclesia / Iustitia

Spirituality and Criminal Justice in Late Medieval Europe (ca. 1200-1500)



Scholarship in mediaeval studies still lacks a thorough evaluation of the relationship between religious norms and criminal justice. Only recently have scholars started challenging the assumption that a rigid dichotomy between divine and human justice existed in late mediaeval Europe, by bridging the traditionally existing gap between studies on religion and culture on one hand and works on socio-political and legal systems on the other.

The concept of Ecclesia as a “total institution”, permeating every aspect of mediaeval society and signifying both the Church as an organisation and the community of Christians operating on principles of caritas (brotherly love) provides a good starting point to furthering the discussion. The extent to which reformers of criminal justice incorporated the values embedded in the concept of Ecclesia, or rather used the latter instrumentally to legitimise measures enacted to reach other goals, is indeed a question still very much open for debate.

More broadly, the workshop aims to investigate in depth how societies reconciled the growing expectations placed on the adherence to the norms of caritas, and the appearance of systems of criminal justice using ever more radical forms of exclusion (e.g., corporal punishments, denial of burial, total destruction of the criminal's possessions).




Thursday, 30 May


9.00 : Coffee and tea

9.15 : Director's Welcome
Michael W. Kwakkelstein (NIKI)


Panel 1 - The legislating church

9.30 : How far were the clergy involved in peacekeeping in late-medieval cities ? The case of urban Italy in the age of Dante (c.1260-1320)
Lorenzo Caravaggi (University of Lancaster

The application of justice in the ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Late-Medieval Catalonia
Flocel Sabaté (Universidad de Lleida

Eye Has Not Seen : Proof in Medieval English Felony Law
Elizabeth Papp Kamali (Harvard University

Response by Raphaël Eckert

10.50 : Coffee and tea served in the garden


Panel 2 - Justice for orthodoxy and orthopraxy

11.20 : Imagined heresy and condemned heretics in the work of Bernard Gui
Alessia Trivellone (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3

The inquisitor as martyr. On the compatibility of new concepts of guilt and old models of sainthood
Daniela Müller (Radboud Universiteit

Response by John H. Arnold


12.20 : Lunch


Panel 3 - Christian temporalities for criminals

13.45 : Killing time : temporalities of the afterlife and their impact on practices of the death penalty between 1250 and 1350 in Toulouse and Pisa
Héléna D.M. Lagréou (University of Cambridge

The Church and the penalty of burial deprivation in the medieval kingdom of France
Mathieu Vivas, Université de Lille

Response by Lidia Luisa Zanetti Domingues

14.45 : Coffee and tea served in the garden


Panel 4 - Values of Christian justice

15.15 : Divine and Secular Justice in the Latin Lives of St. Laurence of Dublin
Jesse Harrington, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

The (In)Justice of Camelot : Christian Values, Chivalry, and Violence in Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur
Roberta Marangi, University of St Andrews

Response by Antonio Marson Franchini

16.15 : Closing remarks of the day

19.00 : Dinner


Friday, 31 May


9.00 : Coffee and Socializing


Panel 5 - Categories of thought : sin and crime

9.30 : The Distinction between the Concepts of Sin and Crime in Medieval Law, an Introduction
Raphaël Eckert, Université de Strasbourg

Blasphemy between Sin and Crime. From Reprobation to Sanction (13th-15th centuries)
Corinne Leveleux-Teixeira, Université d'Orléans

Response by Elizabeth Papp Kamali

10.30 : Coffee and tea served in the garden


Panel 6 - Representing criminal justice

11.00 : Preaching a severe criminal justice : Ile-de-France and Tuscany in comparison (1250-1320) ?
Lidia Luisa Zanetti Domingues, University of Sheffield and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Antonio Marson Franchini, Oxford University

The Exercise of Justice in the Miniatures of Manuscripts of Canon Law (XIII and XIV centuries)
Maria Alessandra Bilotta, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Response by Jesse Harrington


12.00 : Lunch


13.30 : Closing remarks
Héléna D.M. Lagréou and Lidia Luisa Zanetti Domingues

14.00 : Send off and thanks



Pre-registration is required to guarantee seating or online attendance : https://rmblf.be/contact - Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. - +32 (0)81 72 41 67

Colloque organized by Lidia Zanetti Domingues and Héléna D.M. Lagréou, RMBLF - Réseau des médiévistes belges de langue française avec le soutien du FNRS, du CRHiDI (UCLouvain – Saint-Louis, Bruxelles), d'INCAL (UCLouvain), de PraME (UNamur), de sociAMM (ULB) et de Transitions (ULiège)

Istituto Universitario Olandese Di Storia Dell'Arte
Viale Torricelli 5
50125 Firenze - Italia

Université de Namur
Centre de recherches en histoire du droit, des institutions et de la société