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Defiant Priests$
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Michelle Armstrong-Partida

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501707735

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501707735.001.0001

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Becoming a Priest

Becoming a Priest

Clerical Role Models and Clerics-in-Training

(p.198) Chapter 5 Becoming a Priest
Defiant Priests

Michelle Armstrong-Partida

Cornell University Press

This chapter demonstrates that clerics learned early on in their clerical training that violence, conflict, dominance, and sexual unions were not only accepted social norms for clergy but needed to be publicly exercised in front of other men. The most convincing evidence of how clerical masculinity became instilled in clerics from an early age comes from the lives of priests and their sons. The sons of priests witnessed a model of clerical masculinity in which their fathers engaged in concubinous unions, carried weapons, fought, and socialized with their male peers; they too followed this pattern of behavior. Ultimately, the clerical education and training of priests' sons and the influence of senior clergy as role models all coalesced to produce a unique clerical identity, very different from that of ecclesiastical elites—one in which the violent acts of parish clergy can be connected to their professional identity as clerics and to their personal identity as men.

Keywords:   clerical training, clerics, violence, dominance, sexual unions, clerical masculinity, clerical identity

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