Christianity and Sexuality in the Early Modern World by Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks

By Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks

Christianity and Sexuality within the Early smooth global is the 1st international survey of such for the early smooth interval. Merry Wiesner-Hanks assesses the position of private religion and the church itself within the regulate and expression of all elements of sexuality. The publication levels over advancements inside Europe and past to the ecu colonies together with Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Goa, which have been setting up themselves worldwide. Christian missionaries and rituals and constructions followed all the imperial powers and the keep an eye on of the sexuality of either indigenous peoples and colonists used to be a necessary a part of policy.
The publication is brought with a transparent, unique and interesting account of the imperative recommendations within the research of sexuality in Christianity, equivalent to disgrace, sin, the physique, marriage and gender. Drawing on assorted facts together with literary, clinical and ancient the subsequent sections chart alterations in Western Christianity within the overdue heart a long time, Protestantism and Catholicism in Europe, Orthodoxy in jap Europe and Russia, and eventually the Spanish, Portuguese, English and Dutch Colonies. Merry Wiesner-Hanks intriguing e-book covers either the guidelines and results in each one period.
Christianity and Sexuality within the early smooth global contains discursive bibliographies which debate significant books and articles on the finish of every chapter.

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Extra info for Christianity and Sexuality in the Early Modern World Regulating Desire, Reforming Practice (Christianity and Society in the Modern World)

Sample text

Councils and synods also acted as courts, for they heard complaints from individuals and groups about the ideas and activities of other Christians. Their decisions, usually called canons, gradually created a body of church law and rulings on sexual matters. Because Constantine and later rulers in Europe regarded themselves as the head of the church as well as the state, they sometimes attended church councils and in other ways shaped the development of Christian doctrine and law; secular law and church law (known as canon law), though distinct in theory, were very closely related in practice.

Jerome’s repeated comments that virginity is gold and marriage silver, or that marriage fills the earth while virginity fills paradise, would not have been unwelcome or novel to the Roman women to whom he directed them. By choosing virginity, in the opinion of Jerome and his patrons, a woman could move up the gender hierarchy: “As long as woman is for birth and children, she is as different from man as body is from soul. ”5 Non-Christian ideas about sexuality also shaped the fourth-century ascetic movement; this can be seen most clearly in St Augustine of Hippo (354–430), whose importance in the development of Western Christian thought is second only to Paul’s.

During this period, a few men and women decided to combine marriage and virginity, living in what were termed “chaste” or “spiritual” marriages in which the spouses either rejected sexual activity from the start or else renounced it at some time during the course of the marriage. Though Augustine apparently approved of such marriages, most church leaders did not, stating that the power of sexual desire was so great that no one could live with a spouse without sex. This formal disapproval of chaste marriage —Jerome called women who lived in this way “one-man harlots”— contradicted the steady stream of praise for virginity and for overcoming sexual temptation, however, and many accounts of early saints’ lives include favorable discussions of their chaste marriages.

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