Sex, Gender, and Episcopal Authority in an Age of Reform, 1000-1122

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $64.35
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 44%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $64.35   
  • New (4) from $80.25   
  • Used (4) from $64.35   


The eleventh and early twelfth centuries were a period of intense debate over ecclesiastical reform in western Europe. This book examines the debates from a new perspective, exploring the ways in which contemporary political writers conveyed messages about ‘public’ life through textual and sometimes visual images of the ‘private’ life of the Church. It argues that the images they used - of bishops as husbands of their sees, of the laity as the sons of Mother Church, and of the pope as father of bishops - were shaped not only by intellectual and ritual traditions, but also by contemporary ideas about sexuality and gender. Megan McLaughlin reveals that the boundaries between the ‘public’ and the ‘private’ were extremely fluid in the central middle ages – both because of both the realities of political life in that period and the changing nature of life within European households.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…superb…McLaughlin argues her point in lively and subtly amusing prose, sparked with effective quotations of medieval authors. Her book is perfect for classes on medieval politics and churches…Non-specialists can easily follow the argument, while fellow medievalists will appreciate the book’s methodological innovations and evidentiary heft, and feminists will be glad to discover that it considerably advances the scholarly project of gendering the medieval past." -Lisa M. Bitel, American Historical Review

"This book is a must have for any scholar or student of the central Middle Ages." -Becky R Lee, Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521870054
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Megan McLaughlin is Associate Professor of History, with additional appointments in the Departments of Gender and Women's Studies, and Religion, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests focus particularly on two areas of medieval European history: the intersection between religion and social/economic/culture structures; and the history of women and gender in medieval Europe. Her previous publications include Consorting with Saints: Prayer for the Dead in Early Medieval France (1994).
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The reform of marriage; 2. The Bride of Christ; 3. The ambiguities of motherhood; 4. The Mother of the Faithful; 5. Fathers and sons; 6. Fathers in the spirit; Conclusion: the stumbling block.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)