Circle of Love and Sex - Part 2


Love blossomed during the Pre-Renaissance, endorsed by royalty. However, the Church surfaced strongly again during the Renaissance, using torture and force to subdue any associations with sex. Alternately, the vast majority of Puritans held markedly different views to those of the church, regarding sex and love.

Pre-Renaissance 1000 – 1300AD
Romance appeared with William II, Duke of Aquitaine - the first of the Troubadours. Courtly love was a bittersweet arrangement of endless frustration and admiration from afar. The belief was that a Troubadour was made a better man and warrior as unsatisfied love, improved character. Love was connected to the enrichment of Self, and relationships were based on mutual respect. Eleanor, Queen of France and England (daughter of William II), set up the Court of Love, endorsing love as an equal relationship.

The Renaissance 1300 – 1500AD
The Church put up a valiant fight against the new, more positive, ideals of love. For 300 years religious fanatics wandered from town to town performing flagellation on themselves and each other, while St Thomas declared that touching a woman with delight was a mortal sin. The Church introduced inquisitors, proclaiming the existence of witches (notably those most attractive), burning 30,000 women after forcing ‘confessions’ from them. Marriage was still regarded as a financial transaction, based on dowries.

Puritanism 1500 – 1700AD
The Puritans placed high value on love and sex during this period (although in later centuries their beliefs changed). Martin Luther’s ideas opposed those of the Catholic church. Luther believed that priests should marry, and that sexuality should be embraced - not suppressed. He was a great believer in the concept of, ‘eat, drink and be merry’. John Calvin was the promoter of God’s merciless wrath. The vast majority of Puritans wholly rejected Calvin and embraced ideals of love and sex in marriage.

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