Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medieval clerics resisted celibacy, historians say

Date:
August 6, 2012
Source:
University of Huddersfield
Summary:
Medieval clerics did not relish the prospect of giving up sex when the Papacy tried to introduce the principle of celibacy. Resistance was widespread, it was revealed at an academic conference where two historians are playing a key role in developing the burgeoning study area of medieval masculinity.

Medieval clerics did not relish the prospect of giving up sex when the Papacy tried to introduce the principle of celibacy. Resistance was widespread, it was revealed at an academic conference at the University of Huddersfield where two historians are playing a key role in developing the burgeoning study area of medieval masculinity.

Related Articles


Dr Pat Cullum an Dr Katherine Lewis organised the conference, entitled 'Religious Men in the Middle Ages'. It was attended by 50 delegates from 14 countries.

Now Dr Cullum and Dr Lewis -- in tandem with Dr Philippa Hoskin and Dr Joanna Huntington of the University of Lincoln -- have announced the formation of a network named 'The Bishop's Eye'.

Dr Lewis explained: "This network will foster new research into the lives, experiences and representation of medieval religious men, both those following a professional vocation -- bishops, monks and priests for example -- and laymen.

"We've taken its name from a famous stained glass window in Lincoln Cathedral. We hope to bring together scholars working across the medieval period in a variety of fields, and employing a range of conceptual approaches."

It is intended that biennial conferences on the lives of medieval men will be organised under the aegis of The Bishop's Eye, and there will be publication of the proceedings. Also, it is hoped to attract new scholars into the field. The University of Huddersfield has announced that it will offer two full fee-waiver PhD scholarships to suitable candidates.

It was 12 years ago that Dr Cullum and Dr Lewis helped to foster the subject of medieval masculinity as a field of research, when they organised a conference on holiness and masculinity in the Middle Ages.

"Katherine and I thought that after more than ten years it was a good time to revisit the field and see how things are developing," said Dr Cullum.

The latest University of Huddersfield conference covered a period of a thousand years -- from the 6th to the 16th centuries -- and a wide range of religious cultures.

Celibacy for the clergy was one of the key topics. It was in the 10th century that Papacy and church began to argue that priests should be celibate, although it was some 200 years before the idea was widely accepted.

"There were a number of justifications, for example that a priest should imitate Christ, who was celibate, and there was an argument that priests who were handling the sacraments had to be unpolluted by sexual activity," explained Dr Cullum.

"There was also a practical argument that the church wanted to retain control of its property and if priests wanted to marry and have children they were always going to be tempted to give church property to their families."

One of the themes that emerged at the University of Huddersfield conference was that there considerably more resistance to clerical celibacy than previously thought, said Dr Cullum.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Huddersfield. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Huddersfield. "Medieval clerics resisted celibacy, historians say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120806085143.htm>.
University of Huddersfield. (2012, August 6). Medieval clerics resisted celibacy, historians say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120806085143.htm
University of Huddersfield. "Medieval clerics resisted celibacy, historians say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120806085143.htm (accessed December 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hopes Ride High for Classic Car Boom in Havana

Hopes Ride High for Classic Car Boom in Havana

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 23, 2014) Cuba's vintage cars may see new roads ahead as restored diplomatic relations with the U.S. raise hopes of an American tourist boom to see the 1950s 'yank tanks'. Deborah Lutterbeck reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A group of scientists looked at the genetics behind the domestication of the horse and showed how human manipulation changed horses' DNA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) A collection of rare manuscripts by composers Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet are due to go on sale at auction on December 17. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins