Sexual morals, the coexistence of norms, and the control of thought in medieval Europe : the case of Peter Vidal
Source document: Religio. 2013, vol. 21, iss. 1, pp. -71
ISSN1210-3640 (print)2336-4475 (online)
License: Not specified license
This article is a case study of medieval religiosity based on trial proceedings against Peter Vidal, extant in the register of Jacques Fournier, bishop of Pamiers. The case of Peter Vidal shows that not all medieval Christians conceived of all moral questions in eschatological terms. In fact, Peter Vidal's opinion about the legitimacy of intercourse with a prostitute is conceived of purely in terms of fair trade. Different as they were from the morals required by Jacques Fournier, Peter Vidal's morals were, I argue, not a deviation from another norm but evidence for the coexistence of various norms in 14th-century Languedoc. This does not mean, however, that all coexisting norms were equally tolerated in all contexts, and Peter's case indeed points more to the severe multi-level control of speech and thought than to tolerance. Finally, Peter's case offers an intriguing insight into the inquisitorial redefinition of the relationship between speech, action, and inner belief.
- Tato studie vznikla s podporou grantu Grantové agentury České republiky (projekt č. 401/09/P191 "Inkviziční pojmy, klasifikace a identity a jejich ozvuky v badatelské tradici").