Start Date

18-4-2018 12:30 PM

End Date

18-4-2018 1:45 PM

Disciplines

History of Religion | Social History

Subjects

Prostitution -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church -- To 1600, Church work with prostitutes -- Catholic Church -- History, Catholic Church -- Doctrines -- History, Reformation -- Influence

Abstract

The following research paper endeavors to present and enhance knowledge on the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and prostitution across Italy, England, and Germany from the 12th to the 17th century CE. The paper traces the Church’s opinion of reluctant tolerance prostitution to openly condemning it and argues that this ecclesiastical shift can be traced to various syphilitic breakouts that occurred in association with the Columbian Exchange and the growing popularity of Prostitute Reform Houses. The paper argues that these aspects of European history, in conjunction with the increased influence of Protestant Reformers in the 16th century, expedited the progression of prostitution from an essentially ignored profession dictated necessary by the Church, to an outlawed and criminalized occupation by the 17th century CE. It considers primary works such as those of St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Martin Luther to construct a narrative of prostitution during this time and to reveal the differing and nuanced attitudes towards the profession throughout the Middle Ages.

Rights

© Copyright the author(s)

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Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/24781

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Apr 18th, 12:30 PM Apr 18th, 1:45 PM

Visions of Indecency: The Intersection Between The Church and Prostitution in Augsburg, Rome, and Southwark From The Twelfth to Seventeenth Century CE

The following research paper endeavors to present and enhance knowledge on the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and prostitution across Italy, England, and Germany from the 12th to the 17th century CE. The paper traces the Church’s opinion of reluctant tolerance prostitution to openly condemning it and argues that this ecclesiastical shift can be traced to various syphilitic breakouts that occurred in association with the Columbian Exchange and the growing popularity of Prostitute Reform Houses. The paper argues that these aspects of European history, in conjunction with the increased influence of Protestant Reformers in the 16th century, expedited the progression of prostitution from an essentially ignored profession dictated necessary by the Church, to an outlawed and criminalized occupation by the 17th century CE. It considers primary works such as those of St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Martin Luther to construct a narrative of prostitution during this time and to reveal the differing and nuanced attitudes towards the profession throughout the Middle Ages.