Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 3528
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Elliott , Dyan.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Bernardino of Siena Versus the Marriage Debt [argues that Bernardino questioned the assumption of equality in the marriage debt and recognized female spirituality as a legitimate reason for women to refuse sex with their husbands].
  • Source: Desire and Discipline: Sex and Sexuality in the Premodern West.  Edited by Jacqueline Murray and Konrad Eisenbichler.  University of Toronto Press, 1996.  Pages 168 - 200.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Essay
  • Subject (See Also): Bernardino da Siena, Theologian and Saint Conjugal Debt Husbands in Literature Marriage in Literature Sexuality in Literature Theology Wives in Literature
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 15
  • Related Resources: "Dyan Elliott's "Bernardino of Siena versus the Marriage Debt" is the first of several articles dealing with women, marriage, the family, prostitution and sexual renunciation. Elliott challenges James Brundage's claim that the twelfth-century Church's emphasis on paying the marriage debt came to strengthen the position of women. For Elliott it was men who took advantage of the opportunity to tell their wives to fulfill their "obligation". But in the fifteenth-century Franciscan preacher Bernardino of Siena, Elliott sees a churchman who did his best to defend the integrity of women and their right to say no. Elliott thinks that Bernardino was somewhat isolated in his view in the preaching literature, but she could also have considered the contemporary theologian -- and preacher -- Jean Gerson (d. 1429). Gerson did not go so far as Bernardino but in some of his sermons on penance did consider the woman's right to reserve the use of her body." From the review written by Brian McGuire of "Desire and Discipline: Sex and Sexuality in the Premodern West," "Medieval Review" (TMR ID: 96.12.11). [Reproduced by permission of the "Medieval Review."].
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  • Author's Affiliation: Indiana University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1996.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0802007805
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