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What is apostasy?

Apostasy is the term for when monks and nuns leave their religious houses without permission. Watch Dr Sethina Watson explain more.

When a monk or a nun left their religious house without explicit permission, this was called ‘apostasy’.

In this video, Dr Sethina Watson explains how the laws of the medieval Church condemned apostasy, the serious consequences for apostates, and some of the reasons why nuns chose to risk those consequences by leaving their nunneries.

Over to you

If you were in the position of a nun in late medieval York, would you choose to stay in your nunnery or take the risk of being an apostate, and why?

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