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Life Arts    H4'ed 12/12/20

Historical Light on Priest-Sex-Abuses and Bishop-Cover-Ups (REVIEW ESSAY)

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) December 12, 2020: The medievalist Dyan Elliott has just published the accessible 380-page scholarly book The Corrupter of Boys: Sodomy, Scandal, and Medieval Clergy (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020) - a book for contemporary book-reading people who are concerned about the recent priest-sex-abuses and bishop-cover-ups in the Roman Catholic Church.

Elliott's other scholarly books include (1) Spiritual Marriage: Sexual Abstinence in Medieval Wedlock (1993); (2) Fallen Bodies: Pollution, Sexuality, and Demonology in the Middle Ages (1999); (3) Proving Woman: Female Spirituality and Inquisitional Culture in the Later Middle Ages (2004); and (4) The Bride of Christ Goes to Hell: Metaphor and Embodiment in the Lives of Pious Women, 200-1500 (2012). In short, she is a well-established scholar.

Elliott's deeply researched new 2020 book The Corrupter of Boys is designed to be a laser-focused but accessible extensive scholarly study of medieval clergy and sex abuse. However, even though it is accessible, it may tell us more than we ever really wanted to know about medieval clergy and sex abuse.

Elliott's new 2020 book unfolds through the following parts:

"Introduction" (pages 1-14)

"Chapter 1: The Scandal of Clerical Sin" (pages 17-36)

"Chapter 2: The Trouble with Boys" (pages 37-57)

"Chapter 3: The Problem with Women" (pages 58-84)

"Chapter 4: Sodomy on the Cusp of the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (pages 85-109)

"Chapter 5: Confession, Scandal, and the 'Sin Not Fit to be Named'" (pages 110-132)

"Prologue [to Part II]" (pages 135-146)

"Chapter 6: The Monastery" (pages 147-170)

"Chapter 7: The Choir" (pages 171-188)

"Chapter 8: The Schools" (pages 189-210)

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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