Social deviancy: a medieval approach

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Abstract

Between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, European cities witnessed a growth of what are sometimes called marginalizing institutions and spaces - hospitals, brothels, leper-houses, prisons, and Jewish quarters. Historians have often cited this development in order to illustrate the persecuting mentality that allegedly characterized a Europe coming into its own: an increasingly introspective society seeking self-definition and, so the argument runs, closing its ranks to religious outsiders, such as Jews and heretics, as well as to internal Others, from homosexuals and lepers, to prostitutes, to the physically and mentally ill. Seen in this light, medieval society appears to have failed yet another moral test set to it by its modern heirs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhy the Middle Ages Matter
Subtitle of host publicationMedieval Light on Modern Injustice
PublisherRoutledge
Pages29-40
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781136636486
ISBN (Print)9780415780650
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Geltner, G. (2012). Social deviancy: a medieval approach. In Why the Middle Ages Matter: Medieval Light on Modern Injustice (pp. 29-40). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203803868-9