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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2008.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 69-06, Section: A, page: .
In 1107, the nuns of Saint-Eloi were charged with immorality and expelled from their monastery by Bishop Galo of Paris. A similar accusation was made in 1128 at the monastery of Saint-Jean in the diocese of Laon, and again in 1129 at Argenteuil in the diocese of Paris. Scholars have frequently linked these reforms, suggesting one as a precedent for another, but have rarely examined them in greater depth. Yet these are not the only historical examples of reform through expulsion during the twelfth century, simply the most famous. Therefore the purpose of this dissertation is to increase our understanding of the use of expulsion as a method of reform through an in-depth study of the historical, social, and political context of the reforms at Saint-Eloi, Saint-Jean, and Argenteuil.Through a careful analysis of royal, papal, and episcopal charters directly related to the expulsion, as well as a wider examination of each bishop's reforming activities within his diocese, we learn that the three key issues in these reforms were reputation, corrigibility, and jurisdiction. Each of our monastic communities had gained a negative reputation in the years preceding their expulsion, although this sinistra fama was not exclusively a matter of sexual misconduct. Furthermore, in two of our three cases the bishop responsible for the expulsion carefully asserted that numerous attempts had been made to correct the nuns, thus the expelled community is labeled as incorrigible. Finally, there is the matter of episcopal and proprietary jurisdiction. These monasteries were not truly independent. Rather, they were subject to the episcopal jurisdiction of their bishop, and in two of these cases, as royal monasteries, they were subject to the proprietary jurisdiction of the king. Therefore in these expulsions we see collaboration between the bishop, who held episcopal jurisdiction over these communities, and the king, the holder of proprietary jurisdiction, in the reform of communities of nuns during the first half of the twelfth century.