Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historical Perspective

Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historical Perspective

by Martti Nissinen

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Nissinen's award-winning book surveys attitudes in the ancient world toward homoeroticism, that is, erotic same-sex relations. Focusing on the Bible and its cultural environment-Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Israel-Nissinen concisely and readably introduces the relevant sources and their historical contexts in a readable way.

Homoeroticism is examined as a part of gender identity, i.e., the interplay of sexual orientation, gender identification, gender roles, and sexual practice. In the patriarchal cultures of the biblical world, Nissinen shows, homoerotic practices were regarded as a role construction between the active and passive partners rather than as expressions of an orientation moderns call "homosexuality." Nissinen shows how this applies to the limited acceptance of homoerotic relationships in Greek and Roman culture, as well as to Israel's and the early church's condemnation of any same-sex erotic activity.

For readers interested in the ancient world or contemporary debates, Nissinen's fascinating study shows why the ancient texts - both biblical and nonbiblical - are not appropriate for use as sources of direct analogy or argument in today's discussion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451414332
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 04/28/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 659,790
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Martti Nissinen is Reader and Professor in Old Testament Studies, University of Helsinki, Senior Researcher of the Finnish Academy.Kirsi I. Stjerna is First Lutheran, Los Angeles/Southwest California Synod Professor of Lutheran History and Theologyat Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University. A docent at the University of Helsinki, she is author or editor of eight books, including Women and the Reformation (2008) and Martin Luther, the Bible, and the Jewish People, with Brooks Schramm (Fortress Press, 2012).

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Mesopotamia

3. The Hebrew Bible

4. Classical Antiquity

5. Judaism

6. The New Testament

7. Homoeroticism in the Biblical World-Homosexuality Today

Appendix: Creation, Nature, and Gender Identity

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