Chapter

The Cult of Celibacy in The Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries<sup>1</sup>

Christopher N. L. Brooke

in The Medieval Idea of Marriage

Published in print June 1994 | ISBN: 9780198205043
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676468 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205043.003.0003

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Cult of Celibacy in The Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries1

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This chapter discusses the prevailing call and motions for strengthening celibacy among the ranks of Church members and the laity during the 11th and 12th centuries. In this chapter the prevailing Middle Ages notions on concubinage and marriage are discussed — the two predominant practices which gave way to the strengthening of celibacy among the members of the Church and the laity. During the Middle Ages, Church members were allowed to marry and the Roman law recognizes an established form of concubinage. However, an uprising issue on marriage and concubinage paved the way for the papal reformation. These calls for ascetic life gave way to the abolition of simony, the establishment of celibacy, and the establishment of the supremacy of the Holy See. Aside from the reformation of the Church, this ascetic movement also made an impact within the lives of the laity even in the secular canons and chapters.

Keywords: celibacy; concubinage; marriage; 11th century; 12th century; ascetic life; ascetic movement; Church

Chapter.  10984 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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