The Sleep of Behemoth: Disputing Peace and Violence in Medieval Europe, 1000–1200

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In The Sleep of Behemoth, Jehangir Yezdi Malegam explores the emergence of conflicting concepts of peace in western Europe during the High Middle Ages. Ever since the early Church, Christian thinkers had conceived of their peace separate from the peace of the world, guarded by the sacraments and shared only grudgingly with powers and principalities. To kingdoms and communities they had allowed attenuated versions of this peace, modes of accommodation and domination that had tranquility as the goal. After 1000, reformers in the papal curia and monks and canons in the intellectual circles of northern France began to reimagine the Church as an engine of true peace, whose task it was eventually to absorb all peoples through progressive acts of revolutionary peacemaking. Peace as they envisioned it became a mandate for reform through conflict, coercion, and insurrection. And the pursuit of mere tranquility appeared dangerous, and even diabolical.

As Malegam shows, within western Christendom's major centers of intellectual activity and political thought, the clergy competed over the meaning and monopolization of the term "peace," contrasting it with what one canon lawyer called the "sleep of Behemoth," a diabolical "false" peace of lassitude and complacency, one that produced unsuitable forms of community and friendship that must be overturned at all costs. Out of this contest over the meaning and ownership of true peace, Malegam concludes, medieval thinkers developed theologies that shaped secular political theory in the later Middle Ages. The Sleep of Behemoth
traces this radical experiment in redefining the meaning of peace from the papal courts of Rome and the schools of Laon, Liege, and Paris to its gradual spread across the continent and its impact on such developments as the rise of papal monarchism; the growth of urban, communal self-government; and the emergence of secular and mystical scholasticism.

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About the Author:

Jehangir Yezdi Malegam is Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of History at Duke University.

Review:

"The theses of The Sleep of Behemoth are fresh and provocative. The book offers a startling new window on medieval theology. Within the limits of the treatises discussed, it is both well argued and persuasive... this is an important and admirable book." ―Sharon Dale,Review of Politics(Summer 2014)



"Malegam's The Sleep of Behemoth represents a great service to scholarship on medieval ecclesiastical, political, cultural, and intellectual history, and provides much food for thought on the paradoxical relations between peace and violence, thus giving the book a powerful contemporary relevance."― Takashi Shogimen, Journal of Church and State, (December 2014)



"The Peace of Behemoth is a very important book. It leads us into the mental world of church reformers as well as their opponents, and explores ways of understanding peace and violence that are quite different from our own. In the process, it gives us a fresh view of what the ecclesiastical reform movement of the eleventh and twelfth centuries was all about and what drove both its protagonists and opponents to behave in the ways that they did."―Warren C. Brown,The Catholic Historical Review(vol. 102, no.1)



"In his dense and detailed study of a wide range of churchmen like Rufinus, JehangirMalegam proposes to trace "the evolution of clerical discourse around peace" and to showhow these intellectual experiments with peacemaking “expressed a vision of ecclesiasticalawakening” (3, 6) in the first two centuries of the second millennium.Malegam has many penetrating observations tomake about how contemporary clerics harnessed a symbolically rich and multilayered vocabulary of peace in order to understand, interpret, and even challenge...the societal transformations that were taking place around them.Malegam's book is an undeniably significant contribution to the field of medieval thought.He has mined a great many eleventh- and twelfth-century sources for their intellectual ore,and we should all be grateful for that accomplishment."― Alex J. Novikoff, Speculum (January 2017)



"In The Sleep of Behemoth, Jehangir Yezdi Malegam recasts some of the most bedrock narratives of medieval history―the Peace of God, the Investiture Conflict, the whole of the twelfth-century reform movement―through the lens of peace and peacemaking. In doing so, he examines the essential impetus of the reformers themselves, which is too often overlooked: to remake society into the ideal Christian community. Malegam's book reminds readers of the radical nature of that enterprise and of its deep roots in the Christian tradition."―Christopher MacEvitt, Dartmouth College, author of The Crusades and the Christian World of the East: Rough Tolerance



"The nature and prevalence of violence and the rituals of peacemaking have figured prominently in the story of developing social and political institutions of the central Middle Ages. But what did people of that time mean by 'peace' and 'violence'? In this deeply researched and densely argued book, Jehangir Yezdi Malegam shows that the clerics who used these terms in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries had very different visions of their import than our own. Our reading of key documents of this period will forever be altered."―Fredric L. Cheyette, Amherst College, author of Ermengard of Narbonne and the World of the Troubadours



"Drawing on an impressive range of sources, from patristic writings to chronicles, and polemical tracts to Biblical commentaries, Jehangir Yezdi Malegam deftly elucidates the sometimes surprising clerical discourses surrounding peace and violence in the Central Middle Ages. For its insights on topics such as Canossa, amicitia, the Cisterican Order, communes, the Lombard League, the Peace of God, and many more, this rich work of intellectual history demands and repays the attention of institutional historians."―Adam J. Kosto, Columbia University, author of Hostages in the Middle Ages

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In The Sleep of Behemoth, Jehangir Yezdi Malegam explores the emergence of conflicting concepts of peace in western Europe during the High Middle Ages. Ever since the early Church, Christian thinkers had conceived of their peace separate from the peace of the world, guarded by the sacraments and shared only grudgingly with powers and principalities. To kingdoms and communities they had allowed attenuated versions of this peace, modes of accommodation and domination that had tranquility as the goal. After 1000, reformers in the papal curia and monks and canons in the intellectual circles of northern France began to reimagine the Church as an engine of true peace, whose task it was eventually to absorb all peoples through progressive acts of revolutionary peacemaking. Peace as they envisioned it became a mandate for reform through conflict, coercion, and insurrection. And the pursuit of mere tranquility appeared dangerous, and even diabolical.As Malegam shows, within western Christendom s major centers of intellectual activity and political thought, the clergy competed over the meaning and monopolization of the term peace, contrasting it with what one canon lawyer called the sleep of Behemoth, a diabolical false peace of lassitude and complacency, one that produced unsuitable forms of community and friendship that must be overturned at all costs. Out of this contest over the meaning and ownership of true peace, Malegam concludes, medieval thinkers developed theologies that shaped secular political theory in the later Middle Ages. The Sleep of Behemoth traces this radical experiment in redefining the meaning of peace from the papal courts of Rome and the schools of Laon, Liege, and Paris to its gradual spread across the continent and its impact on such developments as the rise of papal monarchism; the growth of urban, communal self-government; and the emergence of secular and mystical scholasticism. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780801451324

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In The Sleep of Behemoth, Jehangir Yezdi Malegam explores the emergence of conflicting concepts of peace in western Europe during the High Middle Ages. Ever since the early Church, Christian thinkers had conceived of their peace separate from the peace of the world, guarded by the sacraments and shared only grudgingly with powers and principalities. To kingdoms and communities they had allowed attenuated versions of this peace, modes of accommodation and domination that had tranquility as the goal. After 1000, reformers in the papal curia and monks and canons in the intellectual circles of northern France began to reimagine the Church as an engine of true peace, whose task it was eventually to absorb all peoples through progressive acts of revolutionary peacemaking. Peace as they envisioned it became a mandate for reform through conflict, coercion, and insurrection. And the pursuit of mere tranquility appeared dangerous, and even diabolical.As Malegam shows, within western Christendom s major centers of intellectual activity and political thought, the clergy competed over the meaning and monopolization of the term peace, contrasting it with what one canon lawyer called the sleep of Behemoth, a diabolical false peace of lassitude and complacency, one that produced unsuitable forms of community and friendship that must be overturned at all costs. Out of this contest over the meaning and ownership of true peace, Malegam concludes, medieval thinkers developed theologies that shaped secular political theory in the later Middle Ages. The Sleep of Behemoth traces this radical experiment in redefining the meaning of peace from the papal courts of Rome and the schools of Laon, Liege, and Paris to its gradual spread across the continent and its impact on such developments as the rise of papal monarchism; the growth of urban, communal self-government; and the emergence of secular and mystical scholasticism. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780801451324

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