David Zbíral

David Zbíral
Masaryk University | MUNI · Department for the Study of Religions

Doctor of Philosophy
Principal investigator of the ERC-funded Dissident Networks Project (DISSINET, https://dissinet.cz/).

About

41
Publications
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Introduction
I am a historian of religion interested in different aspects of medieval Christianity and in the practice of interdisciplinary history, informed mainly by anthropology and computational approaches to historical research. My special focus is religious nonconformism and its repression in medieval Europe, Catharism, and the social, spatial, and discursive patterns of dissidence, heresy trials, and inquisitorial records. I am the principal investigator of the ERC-funded Dissident Networks Project.

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
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This article presents a proposal for data collection from textual resources in history and the social sciences. The data model and data collection practice we propose is based on detailed, yet flexible semantic encoding of the original natural-language syntactic structure and wording: translating texts line by line into structured data while preser...
Article
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The growing use of geographic information systems (GIS) and geographical analyses in different areasof the digital humanities highlights the need for geocoding, i.e. assigning geographic coordinates torecords in a dataset. Such spatially-referenced datasets are a precondition for any spatial analysis andvisualization. While GIS in general is a dyna...
Data
This interactive map visualizes a dataset of Premonstratensian houses in France from the foundation of the order up to the present. The dataset is a digital adaptation and formalization of the most complete catalogue available, edited by Bernard Ardura (Abbayes, prieurés et monastères de l’ordre de Prémontré en France des origines à nos jours: Dict...
Code
The “Historical Geocoding Assistant” is an open-source browser-based application for assigning geographic coordinates in a more convenient and faster way than copy-pasting them from services such as Google Maps. The application was designed with historical projects in mind but is suitable for any geocoding work. Essential features: - works online w...
Research
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This interactive map shows settlements in Languedoc in which Cathar religious are attested to have dwelt publicly in houses they owned or rented. The period covered ranges from the oldest memory going as far back as 1175 up until the fall of the castrum of Montségur in 1244. The dataset on which the map is based constitutes the most extensive list...
Research
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This interactive map (available at https://dissinet.cz/maps/lollards/) is based on the Lollard trials. It shows the places of origin of English dissidents under investigation for taking part in the revolts of 1414 or 1431, related to Lollardy, or holding various heterodox opinions that are commonly referred to as Lollard. In addition, it shows in w...
Article
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In this paper, we present a dataset of medieval monasteries and convents on the territory of today’s France and discuss the workflow of its integration. Spatial historical data are usually dispersed and stored in various forms – encyclopedias and catalogues, websites, online databases, and printed maps. In order to cope with this heterogeneity and...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Mýtus, biblická exegeze a teologie v katarském křesťanství” [Myth, Biblical Exegesis and Theology in Cathar Christianity], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 26/1, 2018, 3-30. ---- This article summarizes previous debates on the relationship between myth, biblical exegesis and theology in Catharism, and studies the different configur...
Article
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This freely available online interactive map (available at http://hde.geogr.muni.cz/baptisteries/) visualizes a database of Christian baptisteries built between the 3rd and 12th centuries. The database is a digital adaptation and formalization of the most complete (as of 2017) catalogue of baptisteries by Sebastian Ristow (Frühchristliche Baptister...
Article
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This article reconsiders the origin of the codex Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. PA 36 (also known under the shelf-mark fonds Adamoli, ms. A.I.54), containing an Occitan translation of the New Testament and a Cathar text known as the Ritual of Lyon. Despite scrutinizing the manuscript since the mid-nineteenth century, scholars have fallen short...
Article
Full-text available
This article reconsiders the origin of the codex Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. PA 36 (also known under the shelf-mark fonds Adamoli, ms. A.I.54), containing an Occitan translation of the New Testament and a Cathar text known as the Ritual of Lyon. The codex of Lyon is important not only for the history of dissident Christian traditions in the...
Article
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The manuscript J II 44, held by the National Central Library of Florence (Firenze, Biblioteca nazionale centrale, Conventi soppressi, ms. J II 44, also known under the shelf mark I II 44), contains several theological treatises originating in the heterodox milieu of mid-thirteenth-century Lombard Cathars from the Desenzano Church who were also call...
Article
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Stará, Lenka – Zbíral, David, “Utváření nekonformní náboženské skupiny v záznamech z inkvizičního procesu s oddanými svaté Vilemíny” [Formation of a Nonconformist Religious Group in the Records of the Inquisitorial Process with the Devotees of Saint Guglielma], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 22/1, 2014, 55-88. In the last quarter of the 13th ce...
Article
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This article presents the first Czech translation, with introduction and notes, of the Summa de catharis et leonistis seu pauperibus de Lugduno written in 1250 by the Dominican friar Raniero Sacconi, who was soon to become – or was already at that time – inquisitor in Lombardy and one of the pillars of papal anti-heretical policy in the 1250s and e...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Hédonistické křesťanství, sexuální morálka a vyjednávání o identitě: Případ Grazidy Lizierové (1320)” [Hedonistic Christianity, Sexual Morals and the Negotiation of Identity: The Case of Grazida Lizier (1320)], Pantheon: Religionistický časopis 8/2, 2013, 5-18. This article is a case study of sexual morals and identity construction...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Sexuální morálka, koexistence norem a kontrola myšlení ve středověké Evropě: Případ Petra Vidala” [Sexual Morals, the Coexistence of Norms, and the Control of Thought in Medieval Europe: The Case of Peter Vidal], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 21/1, 2013, 57-71. ---- This article is a case study of medieval religiosity based on...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Pojednání ‘O katarské herezi v Lombardii’ (1190/1215)” [The Treatise “On Cathar Heresy in Lombardy” (1190/1215)], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 21/2, 2013, 215-247. ---- This article presents a Czech translation with commentary of the anonymous text entitled De heresi ca-tharorum in Lombardia by its finder and editor, Antoine Do...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Případ nekonfesní religiozity ve středověké Evropě: Bompietro z Boloně” [A Case of Non-Confessional Religiosity in Medieval Europe: Bompietro of Bologna], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 20/2, 2012, 219-232. ---- In this article, I analyze the religiosity of Bompietro of Bologna as reported in the register of the inquisition of...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Skeptický a materialistický proud ve středověkém křesťanství: Případ z Itálie 13. století” [Skeptical and Materialistic Current in Medieval Christianity: A Case from 13th-Century Italy], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 20/1, 2012, 93-106. ---- In June 1299, James (Giacomo) Flamenghi, monk of the Monte Armato abbey near Bologna,...
Article
In this text, I introduce the special feature of Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 20/1, 2012, "Religious Studies as a Scientific Discipline: A Delusion?". I briefly summarize the main argument of the original article "Religious Studies as a Scientific Discipline: The Persistence of a Delusion" by Luther H. Martin and Donald Wiebe, and those of the...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Inkviziční záznamy jako pramen historického bádání: Možnosti, omezení, strategie čtení” [Inquisitorial Records as a Historical Source: Their Potential, Limitations, and Strategies of Reading], Dějiny – teorie – kritika 9/2, 2012, 193-229. ---- In this article, I focus on the state of research in inquisitional records and evaluate t...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Osobní religiozita, náboženství a členství: Případ Armanna ‘Pungilupa’ z Ferrary” [Individual Religiosity, Religion, and Membership: The Case of Armanno “Pungilupo” from Ferrara], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 19/2, 2011, 147-178. ---- Armanno, nicknamed Pungilupo, from Ferrara, Italy, was considered a religiously active person...
Article
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The inquisitional register of Jacques Fournier from the years 1318-1325, well known thanks to the book Montaillou by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, reaches far beyond the topic of heresy. It encompasses various details about the common life, including sexuality and sexual morals. This case study reconsiders the normdeviation model on the basis of four Fo...
Article
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Many notions concerning « Catharism » have been revisited in the scholarly debate of recent years, although the reasoning in question has not always been brought to fruition. It seems logical to begin a critical analysis of this term by reviewing the underlying concepts that define it. Among these is dualism, which may be examined through « inquisi...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Označení, typologie a genealogie středověkých herezí: Inspirace a výzvy pro teorii religionistiky” [Nomenclature, Typologies, and Genealogies of Medieval Heresies: Inspirations and Challenges to Theory in the Study of Religions], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 18/2, 2010, 163-190. ---- The terms “Arians”, “Messalians”, and “Mani...
Chapter
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Zbíral, David, “La Charte de Niquinta et le rassemblement de Saint-Félix: État de la question” [The Charter of Niquinta and the Meeting at Saint-Félix: State of Research], in: Anne Brenon (ed.), 1209-2009: Cathares: Une histoire à pacifier?, Portet-sur-Garonne: Loubatières 2010, 31-44. La Charte de Niquinta, texte qui rapporte un grand rassembleme...
Chapter
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Zbíral, David, “Édition critique de la Charte de Niquinta selon les trois versions connues” [Critical Edition of the Charter of Niquinta according to the Three Extant Versions], in: Anne Brenon (ed.), 1209-2009: Cathares: Une histoire à pacifier?, Portet-sur-Garonne: Loubatières 2010, 44-52. ---- A critical edition of the Charter of Niquinta accor...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Zrod ‘katarské sekty’: Ekbert z Schönau v boji proti herezi v Porýní” [Birth of the “Cathar Sect”: Ekbert of Schönau’s Struggle Against Heresy in Rhineland], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 15/2, 2007, 211-231. ---- La « secte des cathares » est née dans un contexte géographique et chronologique bien pré-cis – en Rhénanie, dans l...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Ve dva bohy věřiti nebudeš: Konstruování ‚katarského dualismu‘ v inkvizičních registrech” [Thou Shall Not Believe in Two Gods: On Construction of the “Cathar Dualism” in the Inquisitorial Registers], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 15/1, 2007, 29-46. ---- Les inquisiteurs considéraient la croyance selon laquelle Dieu n’a pas créé...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Niquintova listina a vyprávění o počátcích katarských církví v Itálii a jihozápadní Francii” [The Charter of Niquinta and the Narrations about the Beginnings of Cathar Churches in Italy and Southwestern France], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 14/1, 2006, 19-40. ---- Plutôt qu’un faux du XVIe ou XVIIe siècle, la « Charte de Niqu...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “La Charte de Niquinta et les récits sur les commencements des églises cathares en Italie et dans le Midi” [The Charter of Niquinta and the Narratives about the Beginnings of Cathar Churches in Italy and Languedoc], Heresis: Revue semestrielle d’histoire des dissidences médiévales 44-45, 2006, 135-162. ---- Plutôt qu’un faux du XVIe...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Niquintova listina a historiografie katarství v 17. století” [The Charter of Niquinta and the Historiography of Catharism in 17th Century], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 13/2, 2005, 307-328. ---- La « Charte de Niquinta », publiéé en 1660 par l’historien Guillaume Besse, est un des enjeux capitaux de la recherche contemporaine...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “La Charte de Niquinta: Un faux moderne?” [The Charter of Niquinta: A Modern Forgery?], Heresis: Revue semestrielle d’histoire des dissidences médiévales 42-43, 2005, 139-159. ---- La Charte de Niquinta est un enjeu essentiel, car elle est le seul document à témoi-gner d’une organisation assez solide de la dissidence dite « cathare...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Les ‘esprits incrédules’ dans l’apocryphe bogomile Interrogatio Iohannis” [The “Distrustful Spirits” in the Bogomil Apocryphon Interrogatio Iohannis], Heresis: Revue semestrielle d’histoire des dissidences médiévales 42-43, 2005, 33-40. ---- The notion of the “distrustful spirits” in the Bogomil apocryphon Interrogatio Iohannis see...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Katarský komentář k Otčenáši ve Florentském obřadním spise” [The Cathar Gloss on Our Father in the Ritual of Florence], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 12/2, 2004, 255-264. ---- Cet article propose la première traduction tchèque d’un extrait du Rituel cathare latin (Firenze, Biblioteca nazionale, fonds Conventi soppressi, ms. I.I...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Vztah bogomilství a katarství” [The Relationship between Bogomilism and Catharism], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 12/1, 2004, 77-94. ---- L’objectif de ce travail est de revenir aux sources et d’en traduire quelques passages pour offrir au lecteur tchèque les arguments soutenant que le bogomilisme et le catharisme sont deux bra...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Grálová queste jako pouť. Od středověku po Ottu Rahna” [The Grail Quest as a Pilgrimage: From the Middle Ages to Otto Rahn], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 11/2, 2003, 163-184. ---- Vu sous son aspect de reliquaire, le Saint Graal entre dans un triple contexte : 1) le culte des reliques des saints et du Christ (les inventiones,...
Article
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Zbíral, David, “Bogomilsko-katarský apokryf ‘Otázky Jana Evangelisty’” [The Bogomil-Cathar Apocryphon “Questions of John the Evangelist”], Religio: Revue pro religionistiku 11/1, 2003, 109-130. ---- Ce travail présente pour la première fois au lecteur tchèque une traduction de l’apocryphe bogomile Interrogatio Iohannis (Questions de Jean), qui éta...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
This project uses the methods of social network analysis, geoinformatics, and natural language processing to shed new light on the social, spatial, and discursive patterns of medieval dissident Christianities, heresy trials, and inquisitorial records. Our case studies focus on Languedoc from the 1230s to the 1320s; Lombardy and Tuscany from the 1240s to the 1300s; and England from the 15th to the 16th centuries, thereby covering various dissident religious cultures such as Cathars, Waldensians, Beguins, Fraticelli, Guglielmites, and Lollards. The project is funded by an ERC Consolidator grant (2021-2026). Previously it has received an EXPRO grant from the Czech Science Foundation (2019-2021).
Archived project
This project focused on how inquisitorial records construct the identities of the deponents.