Christian Manhood on Crusade: A Gender Analysis of Clerical Discourses on Latin Masculinities, 1095-1120
The birth of crusading and the religious reform movements of the late eleventh century left deep impressions on how some clerical and lay authors thought about, described, and discursively represented the masculine ideals of laymen in Christian terms. These complex social and religious campaigns created a climate of penitentialism and lived religiosity that reshaped how clerics and laymen conceptualized performative aspects of masculinity and manhood. In texts written or mediated by clergy, laymen expressed sincere anxieties about gendered behaviour such as military violence and sexual intimacy, and critically examined their involvement in morally complex activities in charters, wills, chronicles, poetry and other surviving texts. This thesis investigates how laymen navigated and responded to these popular religious movements in documentary sources produced by clergy, and also by laymen themselves. It considers how lay conceptions of masculinity and manhood developed into the first decades of the twelfth century and were informed by these ideological currents.