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Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-06, Section: A, page: 2345.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2005.
This dissertation considers how Peter the Venerable, the abbot of Cluny from 1122 to 1156, implemented reform through a textual program. Peter's abbacy witnessed a period of fundamental reconstruction, in which not only the practices of Cluniac monasticism, but also its mentality and institutional ethos underwent dramatic change. This period embraces the transformations of Cluniac monasticism from a loose network of monasteries under a charismatic abbot (the ecclesia cluniacensis) to a structured Order containing a clear hierarchy and institutional mechanisms of authority. It also demonstrates the shift from an orthopraxic model of spirituality to one based in orthodoxy.Centered around his three major reform works---a letter collection, the De miraculis, and the Statuta---this thesis examines the textual strategies used by Peter the Venerable to implement his monastic program. Peter's authorial activity was unparalleled in the history of Cluny and was a disjuncture from previous and future abbatial tradition. Peter's writings indicate a conception of the written word as a unique medium for communicating and codifying the specific practices and the general ideology of his re-envisaging of Cluny. These texts allow a bridging of an oral culture and a literate mentality by combining traditional and innovative discourses. Affective reasoning coexists with logical argumentation and appeals to abbatial authority to buttress legal innovations.