Sodomy in Reformation Germany and Switzerland, 1400-1600

Sodomy in Reformation Germany and Switzerland, 1400-1600

by Helmut Puff
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226685063

ISBN-13: 9780226685069

Pub. Date: 06/28/2003

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


During the late Middle Ages, a considerable number of men in Germany and Switzerland were executed for committing sodomy. Even in the seventeenth century, simply speaking of the act was cause for censorship. Here, in the first history of sodomy in these countries, Helmut Puff argues that accusations of sodomy during this era were actually crucial to the success of…  See more details below

Overview


During the late Middle Ages, a considerable number of men in Germany and Switzerland were executed for committing sodomy. Even in the seventeenth century, simply speaking of the act was cause for censorship. Here, in the first history of sodomy in these countries, Helmut Puff argues that accusations of sodomy during this era were actually crucial to the success of the Protestant Reformation. Drawing on both literary and historical evidence, Puff shows that speakers of German associated sodomy with Italy and, increasingly, Catholicism. As the Reformation gained momentum, the formerly unspeakable crime of sodomy gained a voice, as Martin Luther and others deployed accusations of sodomy to discredit the upper ranks of the Church and to create a sense of community among Protestant believers. During the sixteenth century, reactions against this defamatory rhetoric, and fear that mere mention of sodomy would incite sinful acts, combined to repress even court cases of sodomy.

Written with precision and meticulously researched, this revealing study will interest historians of gender, sexuality, and religion, as well as scholars of medieval and early modern history and culture.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226685069
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
06/28/2003
Series:
The Chicago Series on Sexuality, History, and Society Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1The Politics of Sodomy (1277-1532)17
2Cases, Conflicts, Contexts31
3The Discourse of Experts50
4Acts without Words, Acts of Silencing: The Sixteenth Century75
5Defamation as Practice107
6The Art of Defamation: Humanists and Reformers124
7Sodomy in the Reformation Pamphlet140
8The Close Encounter of Matrimony and Sodomy167
Conclusion179
Appendix183
Notes191
Bibliography267
Index303

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