The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology

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University of Chicago Press, Oct 15, 1998 - Religion - 200 pages
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In this startling original work of historical detection, Mark D. Jordan explores the invention of Sodomy by medieval Christendom, examining its conceptual foundations in theology and gauging its impact on Christian sexual ethics both then and now. This book is for everyone involved in the ongoing debate within organized religions and society in general over moral judgments of same-sex eroticism.

"A crucial contribution to our understanding of the tortured and tortuous relationship between men who love men, and the Christian religion—indeed, between our kind and Western society as a whole. . . . The true power of Jordan's study is that it gives back to gay and lesbian people our place in history and that it places before modern theologians and church leaders a detailed history of fear, inconsistency, hatred and oppression that must be faced both intellectually and pastorally."—Michael B. Kelly, Screaming Hyena

"[A] detailed and disturbing tour through the back roads of medieval Christian thought."—Dennis O'Brien, Commonweal

"Being gay and being Catholic are not necessarily incompatible modes of life, Jordan argues. . . . Compelling and deeply learned."—Virginia Quarterly Review
 

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THE INVENTION OF SODOMY IN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

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A scholarly critique of how the term ``sodomy'' arose in the Middle Ages and came to influence Roman Catholic moral discourse. Although the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is at least as old as the book ... Read full review

The invention of sodomy in Christian theology

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Jordan (Medieval Inst., Univ. of Notre Dame) traces the medieval invention of the concept of sodomy and its place in modern American context. He examines paradoxes in the moral teaching on sexuality ... Read full review

Contents

The Responsibilities of a History of Sodomy
1
THE PASSIONS OF ST PELAGIUS
10
THE DISCOVERY OF SODOMY
29
PETER DAMIAN Books in Gomorrah
45
ALAN OF LILLE Natural Artifices
67
THE CARE OF SODOMITES
92
ALBERT THE GREAT The Sodomitic Physiology
114
THOMAS AQUINAS The Sin against Nature
136
The Responsibilities of a Theology of Sodomy
159
WORKS CITED
177
INDEX
187
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About the author (1998)

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. He was previously the Richard Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Divinity and Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University and also taught at the University of Notre Dame and Emory University. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books.

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