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Children of Disorder: Clerical Parentage, Illegitimacy, and Reform in the Middle Ages
Journal of the History of Sexuality
  • Laura A. Wertheimer, Cleveland State University
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This article presents a perspective on the meaning and effect of legitimate and illegitimate birth in the works of medieval scholars, canonists, and theologians. It has been noted that the institutional church's interest in and influence over birth status rested upon its purview over sin, and sin was a matter in which the patrimony of the legitimate and illegitimate was equal. Furthermore, hereditary transmission of status from parent to child through legitimate birth was so firmly entrenched in medieval society.
Citation Information
Wertheimer, L. (2006). Children of disorder: clerical parentage, illegitimacy, and reform in the Middle Ages. Journal of the History of Sexuality, 15, 3.)