Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages, ed. PH Cullum and Katherine J. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to JournalBook Review


This timely volume seeks to engage with the ways in which medieval religious masculinities were ‘revised and refined in response to wider devotional and socio-cultural trends’, and how they might ‘also play a role in shaping them’ (p. 3). Formed of proceedings from a conference held in 2012, the collection also partially constitutes a reflection on the editors’ earlier collection, Holiness and Masculinity in the Middle Ages (2004; rev. ante, cxxiii [2008], 163–4). That volume, as the title suggests, focused particularly on sanctity. This collection, also edited by P.H. Cullum and Katherine J. Lewis, aims to consider ‘religious men’ much more broadly, embracing not only those professed in holy orders but also pious laymen—as well as men who fell somewhere in between. The essays amply demonstrate how many intersections there could be between these categories, and that the ‘boundaries between clerical and lay estates and privileges were constantly revisited’ (p. 11). It is an ambitious collection, spanning chronologically 200 CE to the early sixteenth century, and geographically Palestine to England—though, admittedly, the bulk of the essays are focused on high and late medieval north-western European history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-947
JournalThe English Historical Review
Issue number545
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


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