(1,062 words)

1. Middle Ages and early modern period

In the Middle Ages and the early modern period, we already find harsh criticism of the clergy among both the educated classes and the various social groups of the “common people.” On religious grounds, for the sake of the true faith, the “monks” and “priests” were accused of a double moral standard, high-handedness, greed, and concupiscence. The wealth of many monasteries, the relati…

Cite this page
Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm, “Anticlericalism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 20 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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