Sexuality and Spirituality in 19th - 20th century hungarian catholic prayer books

Nagyné Frauhammer, Krisztina (2016) Sexuality and Spirituality in 19th - 20th century hungarian catholic prayer books. In: Religion, Culture, Society. MTA-SZTE Vallási Kultúrakutató Csoport, Szeged, pp. 9-24.


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This study presents and interprets the church topos formed in the 19 th – 20 th centuries according to which the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the church judgement of sexual behaviour arising from it. The prayer books of the period are the primary sources of my analysis. Making use of a previously entirely unexplored Hungarian Catholic source group, the texts of prayers and meditations, as well as the examinations of conscience, the mirror of the soul, related to confession, I look at where the church at that time drew the accept- able boundaries of sexuality and how it argued when defining those boundaries. Church discourse on the topic focused on excessive expectations regarding purity of the body. This was especially evident in the prayer and meditation texts rec- ommended for young girls. A special language built up of metaphors describing purity placed on a pedestal and almost sacralised, and of coded allusions can be observed in the texts. All further virtues were seen to arise from this, and so they were protected almost obsessively from even the thought of sexuality. The main antidotes to the dangers of sensuality were full isolation, suppression and the conscious stifling of emotions. Catholic girls and women had to be continuously on guard to keep the defensive functions operating, and in case of concern to seek the advice of their spiritual counsellor.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BR Christianity / kereszténység > BR140-1510 History / egyháztörténet
D History General and Old World / történelem > DN Middle Europe / Közép-Európa > DN1 Hungary / Magyarország
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 20:08
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2017 20:08

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