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Dr. Christian Schmidt


in subproject G2,
"vita mixta. A Clerical Concept Transformed for Lay Culture"


How can one find a balance between social activity and otiose retreat? This project proposes that this question, still subject of controversial discussions, was first addressed with reference to a wider range of social classes in the late Middle Ages. An important category in this process was the clerical concept of vita mixta, which will govern the research conducted by this project team. Contemporaneously with late medieval religious culture, the early Humanist period saw intensive discussions about the relationship between vita activa and vita contemplativa. By means of comparison and contrast, this project will explore the discourse of vita mixta in German-speaking countries in this transitional period and study the semantics applied to phases of activity and phases of contemplation or learning. This will allow us to draw conclusions as to whether those phases, too, display elements of Muße.