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Death by Celibacy, or the Medieval Priest's Dilemma

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  • UserDr Katherine Harvey (Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Birkbeck, University of London)
  • ClockTuesday 29 May 2018, 17:45-19:15
  • HouseGatsby Room, Wolfson College.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Rachel E. Holmes.

From around 1100, the Roman Catholic Church forbade its priests to marry. Although clerical celibacy had spiritual benefits, it was medically problematic: medieval physicians believed that sex was part of a healthy lifestyle. Consequently, medieval priests were forced to choose between body and soul- and, in extreme cases, might even face death by celibacy.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Humanities Society talks series.

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