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Jonas of Bobbio and the Legacy of Columbanus$
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Alexander O'Hara

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190858001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190858001.001.0001

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Conflicting Visions of Community: The Legacy of Columbanus

Conflicting Visions of Community: The Legacy of Columbanus

(p.38) 1 Conflicting Visions of Community: The Legacy of Columbanus
Jonas of Bobbio and the Legacy of Columbanus

Alexander O'Hara

Oxford University Press

This chapter approaches Columbanus’s writings and monastic philosophy as a source for Jonas. Jonas remained silent on some issues that were important to Columbanus—calculating the date of Easter, tensions in the early community, the Three Chapters Schism—which reveal key aspects of Jonas’s work. Columbanus’s writings illustrate his monastic philosophy and how it was shaped by his experience of ascetic exile (peregrinatio). It explores whether the Regula Columbani, mentioned by Jonas, referred to the rules written by Columbanus or to a more general process linked to the founding of monasteries by Frankish aristocrats. Could the unsystematic Rules of Columbanus have been programmatic texts for the monastic network developing in Merovingian Gaul during the seventh century? Or did the Vita Columbani function as the normative text for this network? The chapter argues that Columbanus’s rules had a normative function and that the VC was not written to regulate the monastic life.

Keywords:   Columbanus, Regula Columbani, monastic rules, Columbanian monasticism, Easter controversy, peregrinatio, early medieval exile

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