Anticipating Sin in Medieval Society

Childhood, Sexuality, and Violence in the Early Penitentials

Erin V. Abraham

Anticipating Sin in Medieval Society

Erin V. Abraham

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

225 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9789462983717 Published January 2018 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Composed between the sixth and ninth centuries, penitentials were little books of penance that address a wide range of human fallibility. But they are far more than mere registers of sin and penance: rather, by revealing the multiple contexts in which their authors anticipated various sins, they reveal much about the ways those authors and, presumably, their audiences understood a variety of social phenomena. Offering new, more accurate translations of the penitentials than what have previously been available, this book delves into these manuals for clues about less tangible aspects of early medieval history, including the innocence and vulnerability of young children and the relationship between speech and culpability; the links among puberty, autonomy, and moral accountability; early medieval efforts to regulate sexual relationships; and much more.
 
Contents
Introduction
1 Little Books of Penance
Introduction to the Sources
The Penitential of Finnian
The Ambrosian Penitential
The Penitential of Columbanus
The Penitential of Cummean
The Burgundian Penitential
The Penitential of Theodore
The Penitential of Ecgbert
The Bigotian Penitential
The Old Irish Penitential
Influences
Community
Penance
Subjectivity in Practice
 
2The Aetas Infantes
Speech and the Limits of Childhood Innocence
The Language of Childhood
An Age of Infancy
Doli Capax
Little Sinners
Vulnerable Infants
Shared Anxieties
 
3 The Games of Youth
Puberty, Culpability, and Autonomy
Between Childhood and Autonomy
Youths in Religious Communities
Sexual Oppression and Pollution
A Spectrum of Youth and Culpability
Young Females
Dependence and Autonomy
Sex, Age, and Status
 
4 Children of Eve
Lawful Marriage and the Regulation of Sexual Intercourse
Regulating Sex in Marriage
Adultery
Challenging Illicit Unions
Dissolution of Conjugal Unions
Religious Vows and Sexual Legitimacy
 
5 Heirs of Sodom
Sexual Deviance, Pollution, and Community
Lust, Pollution, and Self-Discipline
Pastoral Duties and Temptation
Terminology, Placement, and Equivalence
Transmitting Pollution
Incest and Social Contamination
Women and Deviant Sex
The Sin of Sodom
 
6 Siblings of Cain
Social Violence and the Gendering of Sin
Maleficia
Abortion as Violence
Violence against Children
Violence as a Gendered Sin
Violence and Status
Reverberations
 
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
 
List of Tables
Table 1 Demographics
Table 2 General Topics
Table 3 Potential Components
 
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