9781904768296

Sodomy: A History of a Christian Biblical Myth

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781904768296

  • ISBN10:

    1904768296

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-08-08
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Summary

A study of the reception of Genesis 19, Sodom and Gomorrah, together with the parallel story in Judges 19-21, the outrage at Gibeah, in both Christian and Jewish traditions from antiquity through to the Reformation period. The book sets out to detoxify the dominant homophobic interpretation of Genesis 19, in which Sodom and Gomorrah serve as an archetypal story of divine antipathy towards same sex love and desire, by showing it to be a Christian invention, emerging in the first few centuries of the Christian era. The Jewish traditions concerning Genesis 19, in which Sodom and Gomorrah are associated primarily with inhospitality, xenophobia and abuse of the poor, provide an alternative perspective on the story and one from which Christianity diverged. Together with the reception of the parallel Judges story, this Jewish understanding is employed to highlight the inconsistencies and ethical problems inherent in the dominant Christian homophobic interpretation of Genesis 19. By demonstrating the wide plurality,of readings of this narrative over time, the book further relativizes the Christian homophobic understanding.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix
Abbreviations xi
Chapter 1 INTRODUCING SODOM/OLOG/Y: A HOMOSEXUAL READING HETERO-TEXTUALITY 1(13)
1. Motivation: Suicide, Biblical Studies and Social Control
1(1)
2. Reception, Intertextuality, Readers and Politics
2(3)
3. Introducing Sodom and Gibeah
5(4)
4. Assumptions and Objectives
9(3)
5. In Closing
12(2)
Chapter 2 READING SODOM AND GIBEAH 14(28)
1. Disaster, Civil War and Rape
14(1)
2. A Tale of Two Cities
15(14)
3. Further Exploring Rape, Homophobia and the Sin of Sodom
29(10)
4. Conclusion
39(3)
Chapter 3 A SHARED HERITAGE - SODOM AND GIBEAH IN TEMPLE TIMES 42(37)
1. A Prior World of Temples and Texts
42(1)
2. Scriptural Reflections on Sodom and Gibeah
43(18)
3. Philosophy, History and Commentary
61(15)
4. Conclusion
76(3)
Chapter 4 BUT THE MEN OF SODOM WERE WORSE THAN THE MEN OF GIBEAH FOR THE MEN OF GIBEAH ONLY WANTED SEX: SODOM THE CRUEL, GIBEAH AND RABBINIC JUDAISM 79(37)
1. Of Deltas and Backwaters
79(2)
2. In Those Days When There Was No King in Israel
81(5)
3. The Men of Sodom Have No Portion in the World to Come
86(27)
4. Conclusion
113(3)
Chapter 5 TOWARDS SODOMY: SODOM AND GIBEAH IN THE CHRISTIAN ECUMEN 116(48)
1. Rehearsing Sodomy
116(1)
2. The Evil City, Strange House Guests, Spiritual Models
116(7)
3. Sodom the Sexual City, Developing Sodomy
123(5)
4. From Inhospitality to Homoeroticism
128(26)
5. And Gibeah?
154(6)
6. Conclusion
160(4)
Chapter 6 THE SIN THAT ARROGANTLY PROCLAIMS ITSELF: INVENTING SODOMY IN MEDIEVAL CHRISTENDOM 164(30)
1. A Homophobic Project
164(1)
2. A Textual Matrix - Penitentials and Commentaries
165(9)
3. Peter Damian and the Invention of Sodomy
174(6)
4. Peter Cantor and the Sodomitic Vice
180(3)
5. Thomas Aquinas
183(2)
6. Nicholas De Lyra
185(7)
7. Conclusion
192(2)
Chapter 7 CONCLUSION: DETOXIFYING SODOM AND GOMORRAH 194(5)
Bibliography 199(19)
Index of References 218(6)
Index of Authors 224

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