Dear Members and Followers,
This month many people are celebrating Movember, yet few imagine that
one of the most detailed works on beards comes from the medieval period.
The Church Fathers had thought about facial hair in moral and
theological terms, while medieval theologians and clergymen debated
whether communities of priests, monks and other clerics could grow
beards at all. By the 12th century, canon law forbade Western clerics to
grow beards, as beardlessness came to be associated with the purity and
humility of angels. Laymen could grow beards if they wished, but that
would mark them out even further from the clergy.