“Sin, Sex and Salvation” Seminar by Dr. Mette M. Ahlefeldt-Laurvig

On February 24th, we enjoyed a lively presentation of our member Mette Ahlefeldt on “churching”, a ritual of readmitting women into Church and society after childbirth.

We learned that this ritual, rooted in the Old Testament, was wide-spread throughout late-medieval Europe. It was a rite that celebrated the married matron, shamed the unwed and challenged the Lutheran clergy. The ritual of churching of women, whether Catholic or Lutheran, persisted well into the nineteenth and even the twentieth century in places.

In a very lively and interactive talk Mette entertained us with the raisons d’être of “churching” based on historical beliefs surrounding sin, sex and salvation. The topic and the stories made for engaging discussions over the exclusive meal that we enjoyed at Cercle Münster after Mette’s talk.

We had an excellent turnout, and it was nice to see so many members again after the Covid-induced hiatus of OUSL get-togethers.