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By J. Thibodeaux

Clerics within the center a while have been subjected to differing beliefs of masculinity, either from in the Church and from lay society. The historians during this quantity interrogate the that means of masculine identification for the medieval clergy, by means of contemplating a variety of assets, time sessions and geographical contexts.

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Extra resources for Negotiating Clerical Identities: Priests, Monks and Masculinity in the Middle Ages

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However able Christian ministers may be in their own sphere, that sphere seems ultimately not to overlap with the sphere in which things that matter happen (however much those in the latter sphere, politicians and judges and media personalities, may be influenced by religious convictions). So clergy and clerics in the past, we are tempted to think, lived in a culture of their own that operated according to different rules, something that made them a breed apart from the majority of laymen. For a medievalist this shows that the subject of clerical masculinity is simply subject to many of the same prejudices and stereotypes that cling to medieval history more generally.

It should be said that in my analysis I choose to view the Vita Geraldi in a more literary light than scholars previously have. There is no doubt a great deal of historical truth in Odo’s account – enough to satisfy the readers who actually knew the man in life. But I am frankly far less concerned with Gerald the historical figure than I am with Odo’s comprehension and representation of him. Whatever else the text may be, the Vita Geraldi remains at its heart a narrative of how Odo saw, understood, explained and then naturalized a form of Christian sainthood that did not conform to any of the more fixed models that his culture normally recognized.

Edwin D. , 2007), 185–208; Neal, The Masculine Self. Dyan Elliott, ‘Pollution, Illusion, and Masculine Disarray’, in Constructing Medieval Sexuality, ed. Karma Lochrie, James A. Schultz and Peggy McCracken (Minneapolis, 1997), 1–23; Conrad Leyser, ‘Masculinity in Flux: Nocturnal Emission and the Limits of Celibacy in the Early Middle Ages’, in Masculinity in Medieval Europe, ed. Hadley, 103–20; Jacqueline Murray, ‘Mystical Castration: Some Reflections on Peter Abelard, Hugh of Lincoln and Sexual Control’, in Conflicted Identities and Multiple Masculinities: Men in the Medieval West, ed.

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