2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

The Effects of the Writings of the Early Church Fathers on Expressions of Sexuality in the Medieval Period
Denise M. Thoreson
Dr. David Robinson and Dr. Stephanie L. Russell, Faculty Mentors

The writings of the Church fathers of the early Christian Church helped shape church doctrine surrounding many aspects of daily life, especially in the medieval period. Among other things, they sought to control how people chose to express their sexuality. Their writings designated which expressions of sexuality were acceptable, such as celibacy, and confined sex to marriage; they condemned other acts as unnatural and unacceptable, in fact any sexual act that could not lead to procreation. Their writings helped to outline Church doctrine in regards to sexuality for hundreds of years, and served as a means for social control of the followers of the Church. How effective these means of control actually were in the medieval period can still be debated, and will be explored in this presentation.

Keywords: Sexuality, Medieval Period, Christian Church

Topic(s):History Senior Seminar
History
Medieval Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -2
Location: MG 2090
Time: 8:15

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