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Rules and EthicsPerspectives from Anthropology and History$
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Morgan Clarke and Emily Corran

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781526148902

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.7765/9781526148919

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Control of the self and the casuistry of vows: Christian personal conscience and clerical intervention in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries

Control of the self and the casuistry of vows: Christian personal conscience and clerical intervention in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries

Chapter:
(p.80) 3 Control of the self and the casuistry of vows: Christian personal conscience and clerical intervention in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries
Source:
Rules and Ethics
Author(s):

Emily Corran

, Morgan Clarke, Emily Corran
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526148919.00010

This chapter concerns the intersection of two aspects of Western medieval Christian religion that have previously been considered in isolation. The first is ascetic control of the self, and in particular, the voluntary vows made by secular people, for example, to fast, to abstain from marital relations or to go on pilgrimage. Vows of personal conduct (as I shall call these non-institutional vows), and voluntary physical abstinence more generally, have been of considerable interest to scholars of medieval sanctity and the body. In addition, the thirteenth century was a period in which laypeople came together to live quasi-monastic lives. The second aspect of medieval culture under consideration is casuistry. Here this is a term for the legalistic ethics that was taught to Catholic priests in the late medieval and early modern period. It first emerged in practical theology and canon law taught in the universities of Paris and Bologna around the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and was subsequently popularised in manuals for priests from the mid-thirteenth century. This kind of thought was chiefly concerned with resolving moral cases and practical dilemmas.

Keywords:   Casuistry, Ascetic control of the self, Francis of Assisi, Margery Kempe, Mary of Oignies, Angela of Foligno, Quasi-monasticism

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