Roundtable Finding Common Ground? Comparing the Practice of Clerical Concubinage in Northern Europe and the Western Mediterranean during the Middle Ages

AHA Session 273
Sunday, January 9, 2011: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
Room 110 (Hynes Convention Center)
Daniel Thiery, Iona College

Session Abstract

Recent studies addressing the practice of clerical concubinage are frequently asked to address the perception that clerical concubinage was a more common place in the Mediterranean than in Northern Europe.  This sessions seeks to engage scholars who study clergy in other parts of Europe to address the following:  Is there a Mediterranean and Northern European model of clerical sexuality?  What overarching trends, such as clerical culture, customs, and education, can we identify that might help explain the prevalence of clerical unions in some regions and not in others?  Are the constructs of a Mediterranean model and Northern European model even helpful to us?  If local and regional culture and politics is the key, how do we situate our work in the broader theme of clerics lives and experiences?  Considering the popular trend of comparative history, how do we make these comparisons in our scholarship useful, not only to each other, but also to the field of medieval history in general? These papers, spanning a wide variety of geographical contexts, seek to provide answers to the questions and illuminate the broader picture of the clergy and their relationships with women in the Middle Ages.

See more of: AHA Sessions