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Medieval Courtesy Books and Contemporary Conservative Christian Self-Help Books: A Textual Analysis and Psychological Implications

Gabriel, Amy L
Much of the rhetoric concerning women’s sexuality, agency, and roles in heterosexual relationships contained in contemporary Christian self-help books mirrior the rhetoric of these topics found in their Medieval counterparts–courtesy books. Though the language has developed over the past six hundred and fifty years, the main lessons that Christian women are supposed to absorb from each of these texts remain the same. This study compares the 1371 text, “The Book of the Knight of the Tower” written by Sir Geoffrey Tour de Landry to two different Christian self- help books marketed towards young women: Elizabeth Elliot’s 1984 text, “Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control” and Dr. Juli Slattery’s 2017 “Sex and the Single Girl.” A cross- literature thematic analysis discovers three different concepts that have been sustained by the Christian community across the centuries; the idea that evil and sin originates in women, the God/ Father/ Husband complex, and women and their bodies as social and economic capital.. Following discussion, this paper looks into the psychological impacts of these concepts through the lens of religious trauma and rape myth acceptance.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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Religion,Religious Trauma Syndrome,Rape Myth Acceptance,Purity Culture,Medieval Courtesy Books,Courtesy Books,Christian,Women,Christian Women,Self Help,Elizabeth Elliot,Juli Slattery,Purity Ball,The Book of the Knight of the Tower,Geoffrey de la Tour Landry,Rebecca Barnhouse
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