Monastic Identities: Comparative and Historical Perspectives

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 930

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Humanities Department, Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL 32086, USA
Interests: Medieval history; monasticism; Jewish-Christian relations; heresy; gender and sexuality; urban history

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This volume aims to address contexts wherein female and male monastics confronted, reinforced, or questioned their own identities, whether individual or collective. In doing so, it builds upon a growing body of literature on monasticism in various traditions, including Catholic, Orthodox, Buddhist, and Jain settings. While many studies have addressed such issues as the origins and development of monastic norms, fewer works have treated the ways monks and nuns have thought intentionally (or perhaps unintentionally) about their own identities. Fewer works still have done so with a comparative focus, actively seeking to juxtapose different monastic traditions in order to underscore similarities and differences in an open, unbiased, and intentional way.

This volume will treat historical rather than contemporary monasticism. However, it aims to be as inclusive as possible within that broad framework and will entertain submissions that examine monastic situations ranking from antiquity through to the nineteenth century. It aims to include studies of various monastic traditions—Catholic, Orthodox, Buddhist, Jain—as well as those that identify and investigate “monastic identities” in traditions which have not traditionally been associated with monasticism as narrowly defined (e.g., Essenes in ancient Judaism, Sufis in historical Islam).

Authors are welcome to submit works that broadly tackle issues of  “identities.” Articles might choose to focus on the dynamics of gender and sexuality; interactions across cultural or religious boundaries; secular or ecclesiastical concerns from outside the cloister or order; currents of reform emerging from within or outside of the community; the discovery, rediscovery, or development of philosophical or theological concepts; or even issues unique to a single individual within a religious community. These areas and more have potentially challenged, reinforced, or otherwise affected monastic identities. The volume is eager to publish studies on any of these or other issues relevant. I am particularly interested in including submissions that adopt a comparative framework, analyzing different monastic situations to draw conclusions about one or more of the comparative foci.

Dr. John D. Young
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • monasticism
  • monks
  • nuns
  • Catholic
  • Orthodox
  • Buddhist
  • Jain
  • Sufi
  • Essene
  • Hindu
  • religious communities
  • gender and sexuality
  • comparative religions
  • cloister
  • religious identities

Published Papers (1 paper)

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13 pages, 7648 KiB  
Seals as a Reflection of the Self-Confidence, Self-Image and Identity of the Teutonic Order
by Katharina Kemmer
Religions 2024, 15(3), 379; - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 553
This article deals with the question of the extent to which the Teutonic Order, as a clerical order of knights founded during the Third Crusade, succeeded in expressing its self-confidence and identity by means of its seal. The “geographical” area of investigation extends [...] Read more.
This article deals with the question of the extent to which the Teutonic Order, as a clerical order of knights founded during the Third Crusade, succeeded in expressing its self-confidence and identity by means of its seal. The “geographical” area of investigation extends to the bailiwicks of Franconia, Alsace–Burgundy, Lorraine, Austria, An der Etsch and in the mountains (South Tyrol) as well as the so-called Deutschmeistertum, whereby the terms mentioned do not necessarily correspond to the present-day areas of that designation. The time frame is within the Middle Ages. Due to the large number of surviving seals of the Teutonic Order, however, only a small insight from a larger study can be provided here. Selected seals of the Order’s various internal leadership strata are therefore presented, compared and examined to determine whether and to what extent they express a form of self-confidence and identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monastic Identities: Comparative and Historical Perspectives)
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