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The Making of Romantic Love
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The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia, and Japan, 900-1200 CE

William M. Reddy


In the twelfth century, the Catholic Church attempted a thoroughgoing reform of marriage and sexual behavior aimed at eradicating sexual desire from Christian lives. Seeking a refuge from the very serious condemnations of the Church and relying on a courtly culture that was already preoccupied with honor and secrecy, European poets, romance writers, and lovers devised a vision of love as something quite different from desire. Romantic love was thus born as a movement of covert resistance. This illuminates the birth of a cultural movement that managed to regulate selfish desire and render it in ... More

Keywords: Catholic Church, reform of marriage, sexual behavior, sexual desire, courtly culture honor, secrecy, European poets, romance writers, romantic love

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780226706269
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226706283.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William M. Reddy, author