Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the 14th Century

Overview

"Truly groundbreaking work. Boswell reveals unexplored phenomena with an unfailing erudition."—Michel Foucault John Boswell's National Book Award-winning study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the early Christian West was a groundbreaking work that challenged preconceptions about the Church's past relationship to its gay members—among them priests, bishops, and even saints—when it was first published twenty-five years ago. The historical breadth of Boswell's research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources

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Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century

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Overview

"Truly groundbreaking work. Boswell reveals unexplored phenomena with an unfailing erudition."—Michel Foucault John Boswell's National Book Award-winning study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the early Christian West was a groundbreaking work that challenged preconceptions about the Church's past relationship to its gay members—among them priests, bishops, and even saints—when it was first published twenty-five years ago. The historical breadth of Boswell's research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources consulted make this one of the most extensive treatments of any single aspect of Western social history. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, still fiercely relevant today, helped form the disciplines of gay and gender studies, and it continues to illuminate the origins and operations of intolerance as a social force.
"What makes this work so exciting is not simply its content—fascinating though that is—but its revolutionary challenge to some of Western culture's most familiar moral assumptions."—Jean Strouse, Newsweek

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226067100
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1981
  • Pages: 424

Meet the Author

John Boswell (1947-94) was the A. Whitney Griswold Professor of History at Yale University and the author of The Royal Treasure, The Kindness of Strangers, and Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Abbreviations
Preface
1 Introduction 3
2 Definitions 41
3 Rome: The Foundation 61
4 The Scriptures 91
5 Christians and Social Change 119
6 Theological Traditions 137
7 The Early Middle Ages 169
8 The Urban Revival 207
9 The Triumph of Ganymede: Gay Literature of the High Middle Ages 243
10 Social Change: Making Enemies 269
11 Intellectual Change: Men, Beasts, and "Nature" 303
12 Conclusions 333
App. 1 Lexicography and Saint Paul 335
App. 2: Texts and Translations 355
Frequently Cited Works 403
Index of Greek Terms 411
General Index 413
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    If this book is accurate, it could well change the Catholic and Protestant churches.

    This book says that an anti-homosexual policy has never necessarily been an integral part of the Christian church. Then it backs up its assertions with data. My only question is whether the data are accurate and complete. If they are, then the various churches can immediately change their position on homosexuality to one of acceptance.
    My problem with all of this is personal; as a woman who thought for a long time that I might be homosexual, I observed that the gay community didn't want to allow research into letting homosexuals change their orientation. The unfairness of this made me angry, and I developed an attitude to the gay community which carries over to this day. To me, homosexuality is a disease if the person wants, as I do, to have his or her own biological children. Therefore, I don't wish for this book to be accurate. But it seems so to be, and perhaps the Church should take heed.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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