Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages

Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages

Edited by P.H. Cullum, Katherine J. Lewis


Boydell Press



Essays offering new approaches to the changing forms of medieval religious masculinity.
The complex relationship between masculinity and religion, as experienced in both the secular and ecclesiastical worlds, forms the focus for this volume, whose range encompasses the rabbis of the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmud, and moves via Carolingian and Norman France, Siena, Antioch, and high and late medieval England to the eve of the Reformation. Chapters investigate the creation and reconstitution of different expressions of masculine identity, from the clerical enthusiasts for marriage to the lay practitioners of chastity, from crusading bishops to holy kings. They also consider the extent to which lay and clerical understandings of masculinity existed in an unstable dialectical relationship, at times sharing similar features, at others pointedly different, co-opting and rejecting features of the other; the articles show this interplay to be more far more complicated than a simple linear narrative of either increasing divergence, or of clerical colonization of lay masculinity. They also challenge conventional historiographies of the adoption of clerical celibacy, of the decline of monasticism and the gendered nature of piety.

Patricia Cullum is Head of History at the University of Huddersfield; Katherine J. Lewis is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Huddersfield.

Contributors: James G. Clark, P.H. Cullum, Kirsten A. Fenton, Joanna Huntington, Katherine J. Lewis, Matthew Mesley, Catherine Sanok, Michael L. Satlow, Rachel Stone, Jennifer D. Thibodeaux, Marita von Weissenberg


August 2013
2 black and white illustrations
224 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Gender in the Middle Ages
ISBN: 9781843838630
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BIC HBLC1, 1D, 2AB, 3H
BISAC HIS037010, REL015000
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Table of Contents

From salve to weapon: Torah study, masculinity, and the Babylonian Talmud - Michael L Satlow
Gender and hierarchy: Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims (845-882) as a religious man - Rachel Stone
The defense of clerical marriage: religious identity and masculinity in the writings of Anglo-Norman clerics - Jennifer Thibodeaux
Writing masculinity and religious identity in Henry of Huntingdon - Kirsten Fenton
'The quality of his virtus proved him a perfect man': Hereward 'the Wake' and the representation of lay masculinity - Joanna Huntington
Episcopal authority and gender in the narratives of the First Crusade - Matthew Mesley
'What man are you?': piety and masculinity in the vitae of a Sienese craftsman and a Provençal nobleman - Marita von Weissenberg
'Imitate, too, this king in virtue, who could have done ill, and did it not': lay sanctity and the rewriting of Henry VI's manliness - Katherine J Lewis
John of Bridlington, mitred prior and model of the mixed life - Catherine Sanok
Why men became monks in late medieval England - James G. Clark
Feasting not fasting: men's devotion to the Eucharist in the later Middle Ages - P H Cullum


Cullum and Lewis have assembled an overall strong and insightful collection of sources which should prove valuable to scholars of masculinity, clerical culture and medievalists alike. JOURNAL OF RELIGION AND CULTURE

A fine set of essays. ... The contributions are well written and argued, and their brief historiographical introductions are very useful. It should provide a springboard for more in-depth study of medieval masculinities. CATHOLIC HISTORICAL REVIEW

(A) stimulating volume. SEHEPUNKTE

A rich collection that will be of great interest to scholars of clerical and lay masculinities, the hagiography and cults of male saints, and men's piety. MEDIEVAL REVIEW

Also by Author

Also in Series