Synopses & Reviews
John Boswell's highly acclaimed study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the Christian West challenges received opinion and our own preconceptions about the Church's past relationship to its gay members, among whom were priests, bishops and even canonized saints. The historical breadth of Boswell's research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources consulted (legal, literary, theological, artistic, and scientific) make this one of the most extensive treatments of any single aspect of Western social history. The product of ten years of research and analysis of records in a dozen languages, this book opens up a new area of historical inquiry and helps elucidate the origins and operations of intolerance as a social force.
Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality won the National Book Award in 1981.
"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
"Truly groundbreaking work. Boswell reveals unexplored phenomena with an unfailing erudition."--Michel Foucault
"[Boswell] has mastered one of the rarest skills: the ability to write about sex with genuine wit. Improbable as it might seem, this work of unrelenting scholarship and high intellectual drama is also thoroughly entertaining." --Paul Robinson, New York Times Book Review
John Boswell (1947-1994) 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.
"Truly groundbreaking work. Boswell reveals unexplored phenomena with an unfailing erudition."and#8212;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 membersand#8212;among them priests, bishops, and even saintsand#8212;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.
About the Author
Mark D. Jordan is the Reverend Priscilla Wood Neaves Distinguished Professor of Religion and Politics at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. Heand#160;was previouslyand#160;the Richard Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Divinity and Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University and alsoand#160;taughtand#160;at the University of Notre Dame and Emory University. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books.
Table of Contents
3: Rome: The Foundation
4: The Scriptures
5: Christians and Social Change
6: Theological Traditions
7: The Early Middle Ages
8: The Urban Revival
9: The Triumph of Ganymede: Gay Literature of the High Middle Ages
10: Social Change: Making Enemies
11: Intellectual Change: Men, Beasts, and "Nature"
App. 1: Lexicography and Saint Paul
App. 2: Texts and Translations
Frequently Cited Works
Index of Greek Terms