This chapter is devoted to the single life. First it contains a section devoted to the issue of consent: who gives consent for the entry into monastic life, parents or the child? This section is followed by a discussion on single women in monastic and lay environments. The final section is devoted to single men in lay and monastic environments. The majority of single men and women were held hostage by economic circumstances rather than their own agency or choice. The relatively small group of religious young men and women entered their future destination by a combination of parental choice and their own agency. The increase in texts charting the generational battle for consent should be seen firmly in the wider context of a demand for choice amongst young people, especially women.
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