Cistercians and Saints in Scotland: Cults and the Monastic Context


Hodgson V (2020) Cistercians and Saints in Scotland: Cults and the Monastic Context. Irish Theological Quarterly, 85 (2), pp. 183-199.

While Cistercian liturgical practices generally maintained a high degree of uniformity, that deviations from standardized practice consistently occurred in the celebration of saints is evidenced by the highly individualized composition of kalendars and litanies. Some of these variances emerged through special permissions while others were unsanctioned additions. This article utilizes the surviving evidence for Cistercian abbeys in Scotland to explore the unique blend of saints commemorated at particular houses, demonstrating that monastic observance reflects local devotion to cults within varying regional contexts. It is suggested that this ‘responsiveness’ to lay religiosity goes beyond the institutional appropriation of local culture, and should be viewed within the context of patterns of monastic recruitment from particular localities. Thus, the types of pressures felt from external lay populations, often cited as the key factor in shaping Cistercian interaction with saints’ cults, were just as likely to come from within the monastery itself.

Cistercians; cults; kalendars; liturgy; medieval; saints

Irish Theological Quarterly: Volume 85, Issue 2

Publication date31/05/2020
Publication date online28/02/2020
Date accepted by journal28/02/2020