2014 Conference

Event Title

Panel 2: "The Western Church and Homosexuality: The Central to Late Medieval Period"

Location

Business Building, Room #24

Start Date

4-12-2014 8:15 AM

End Date

4-12-2014 9:30 AM

Description

This paper presents an examination of the Western church’s view of homosexuality during the central to late medieval period. Its objective is to show how church doctrine led to the rise of repression of homosexuals, while inducing an atmosphere of homophobia throughout medieval Western Europe. This is done by examining canon law and authoritative secular law -- as presented by St. Augustine and Peter Damian -- as well as restrictive celibacy among clergy members. Upon examining these doctrines, the author discovered that through its development of doctrine linking the scripture of Sodom and “unnatural law” to those engaged in same-sex desires, the Western church stigmatized homosexuals. The implementing of strict codes of celibacy upon clergy members by the church repressed homosexual desires and shaped what the church deemed to be inappropriate and unnatural sexual desires. Through showing the Western church’s attitude towards homosexuality in medieval Europe, this paper helps the reader to understand the role of the church in shaping social norms.

Comments

Panel Chair: Dr. Logan

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Apr 12th, 8:15 AM Apr 12th, 9:30 AM

Panel 2: "The Western Church and Homosexuality: The Central to Late Medieval Period"

Business Building, Room #24

This paper presents an examination of the Western church’s view of homosexuality during the central to late medieval period. Its objective is to show how church doctrine led to the rise of repression of homosexuals, while inducing an atmosphere of homophobia throughout medieval Western Europe. This is done by examining canon law and authoritative secular law -- as presented by St. Augustine and Peter Damian -- as well as restrictive celibacy among clergy members. Upon examining these doctrines, the author discovered that through its development of doctrine linking the scripture of Sodom and “unnatural law” to those engaged in same-sex desires, the Western church stigmatized homosexuals. The implementing of strict codes of celibacy upon clergy members by the church repressed homosexual desires and shaped what the church deemed to be inappropriate and unnatural sexual desires. Through showing the Western church’s attitude towards homosexuality in medieval Europe, this paper helps the reader to understand the role of the church in shaping social norms.