Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-8bbf57454-kwtxg Total loading time: 0.312 Render date: 2022-01-25T22:30:51.984Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Gendering Pastoral Care: John Mirk and his Instructions for Parish Priests

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2017

Beth Allison Barr
Affiliation:
Baylor University
Beth Alison Barr
Affiliation:
Beth Allison Barr is Assistant Professor of European Women's History at Baylor University.
James Bothwell
Affiliation:
Dr James Bothwell is Lecturer in Later Medieval English History at the University of Leicester.
Helen Lacey
Affiliation:
College Lecturer in Late Medieval History, Mansfield College, University of Oxford
Christian D. Liddy
Affiliation:
Senior Lecturer in History, University of Durham, England.
Get access

Summary

In some respects, as in ecclesiastical politics, for instance, the fourteenth century, when viewed as the outcome of the thirteenth century, may seem disappointing, something of a misfit or an anticlimax. … But in the realm of religious literature we can see, in the clearest and most satisfactory way, the achievement of the fourteenth century as the logical outcome of forces at work in the thirteenth century and earlier.

William Pantin made this observation in his 1955 survey of the fourteenth-century English church. In short, he had recognized a critical point: that – despite the inadequacies of the Avignon Papacy, the chaos of the Great Schism, and the heresy of John Wycliff – the church reforms of the thirteenth century had not been in vain. They had provided the impetus for the didactic pastoral manuals of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. By including such basic tenets as the Ten Commandments, Articles of Faith, Works of Mercy, Seven Vices and Virtues, and Seven Sacraments, these texts fulfilled the spirit of the thirteenth-century reforms by creating a foundation for a more learned clergy.

Moreover, by elucidating the quotidinal duties of pastoral care, pastoral manuals also shed light on another critical issue stressed by the reforms: that pastoral care was a gendered affair. Omnis utriusque sexus, one of the most famous decrees of the 1215 Fourth Lateran Council, required all Christians of proper age to make confession and take communion at least once a year, thereby emphasizing that both men and women needed pastoral attentions. Although this might seem an obvious assumption, the implications of the decree were profound. Ordinary parish priests were required to care for the souls of women as well as the souls of men. Yet, because women and men had different pastoral needs (or at least were perceived as having different pastoral needs), they required different pastoral care. Hence, the challenge for priests with cura animarum was not only to provide proper pastoral care, but to make that pastoral care gender appropriate.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2006

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×