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Hospitality in a Cistercian Abbey: The Case of Kirkstall in the Later Middle Ages

Thomason, Richard James Andrew (2015) Hospitality in a Cistercian Abbey: The Case of Kirkstall in the Later Middle Ages. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis examines hospitality as provided by Cistercian communities via a case study of Kirkstall Abbey (Leeds, West Yorkshire). It analyses the practices of hospitality as enacted at Kirkstall over a long duration of time, and the place that hospitality had in the life of the community. Hospitality is explored through four concepts: the host, the space(s) of hospitality, the guest, and the welcome. Defining these elements enables the study of how they are represented in a wide variety of archaeological and textual sources. Spiritual writings, documentary evidence, and archaeological evidence are brought together to form a holistic, unified interpretation of Cistercian hospitality in its historical and material contexts. Chapter 1 is a study of Cistercians as hosts, and uses normative and spiritual texts to investigate how Cistercians conceived of hospitality within the framework of their observance. Chapter 2 analyses the spaces of hospitality with special reference to Kirkstall. In order to understand developments at Kirkstall more fully, a survey of Cistercian guest accommodation from the twelfth to sixteenth centuries is presented. Chapter 3 uses Kirkstall’s small finds and documentary sources to examine the social status, personal identities, and gender of guests. Chapter 4 assesses the facilities provided within the guest house and what activities took place there, including provision of food. Ultimately it is argued that hospitality was a fully integrated component of Cistercian observance, which allowed monks to connect with the wider world in a practical way while upholding the tenets of their observance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: medieval, religious, monasticism, Cistercian, Kirkstall, Kirkstall abbey, Leeds, hospitality, inter-disciplinary, daily life, archaeology, monastic observance
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > University of Leeds Research Centres and Institutes > Institute for Medieval Studies (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Institute for Medieval Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Dr Richard James Andrew Thomason
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2016 09:40
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2016 14:38
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13442

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