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.
Author: John J. Collins
Release Date: 2019-08-06
An illuminating exploration of the Bible and many of our most contentious contemporary issues Many people today claim that their positions on various issues are grounded in biblical values, and they use scriptural passages to support their claims. But the Bible was written over the course of several hundred years and contains contradictory positions on many issues. The Bible seldom provides simple answers; it more often shows the complexity of moral problems. Can we really speak of "biblical values"? In this eye-opening book, one of the world's leading biblical scholars argues that when we read the Bible with care, we are often surprised by what we find. Examining what the Bible actually says on a number of key themes, John Collins covers a vast array of topics, including the right to life, gender, the role of women, the environment, slavery and liberation, violence and zeal, and social justice. With clarity and authority, he invites us to dramatically reimagine the basis for biblical ethics in the world today.
Author: Mark Achtemeier
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Release Date: 2014-06-01
In the early 2000s, Mark Achtemeier embarked on a personal journey with the Bible that led him from being a conservative, evangelical opponent of gay rights to an outspoken activist for gay marriage and a fully inclusive church. In The Bible's Yes to Same-Sex Marriage, Achtemeier shares what led to his change of heart: the problems with excluding groups of people and the insights into the Bible's message that led him to recognize the fullness of God's love and support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Readers will discover how reading snippets of Scripture out of context has led to false and misleading interpretations of the Bible's message about LGBT persons. Achtemeier shows how a careful reading of the whole Scripture reveals God's good news about love, marriage, and sexuality for gay and straight people alike.
Author: Mark S. Smith
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Release Date: 2014-09-15
Warfare exerts a magnetic power, even a terrible attraction, in its emphasis on glory, honor, and duty. In order to face the terror of war, it is necessary to face how our biblical traditions have made it attractive -- even alluring. In this book Mark Smith undertakes an extensive exploration of "poetic heroes" across a number of ancient cultures in order to understand the attitudes of those cultures toward war and warriors. Smith examines the Iliad and the Gilgamesh; Ugaritic poems commemorating Baal, Aqhat, and the Rephaim; and early biblical poetry, including the battle hymn of Judges 5 and the lament of David over Saul and Jonathan in 2 Samuel 1. Smith's Poetic Heroes analyzes the importance of heroic poetry in early Israel and its disappearance after the time of David, building on several strands of scholarship in archaeological research, poetic analysis, and cultural reconstruction.
English summary: These essays interpret Old Testament prophetic writings and their social criticism in the cultural context of ancient near Eastern prophecy. German description: Die radikale Gesellschaftskritik der alttestamentlichen Propheten in Israel und Juda wird haufig in scharfem Gegensatz zu prophetischen Texten auaerhalb der Bibel gesetzt, besonders zu den herrschaftskonformen Aussagen aus Mari und Assur. Die Beitrager dieses Bandes stellen diese Alternative in Frage: Martti Nissinen, Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum, Reinhard G. Kratz, Jorg Jeremias, Herbert B. Huffmon und Elisabeth Pongratz-Leisten.
Author: Saul M. Olyan
Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Release Date: 2011-09-14
This volume consists of fifteen of the author’s essays, including two that have never been published before. The essays date to the last decade and a half, and all reflect in some manner the author’s ongoing interest in literary operations of classification and their social implications, particularly the production of distinctions which create social inequality in the world of the text, and have the potential to generate hierarchical social relationships in contexts where biblical texts might have had an impact on real people. In these essays, the author explores themes such as gender, sexuality, purity and pollution, sanctification, death and afterlife, foreignness, and disability with particular attention to the roles distinctions such as honored/shamed, feminine/masculine, mourning/rejoicing, unclean/clean, alien/native play in creating and perpetuating social differences in texts. Rites of status change such as circumcision, shaving, purification, burial or disinterment, sanctification and profanation of holiness are a focus of interest in a number of these essays, reflecting the author’s on going interest in the textual representation of ritual. Most of the essays examine texts in their historical setting, but several also engage the early history of the interpretation of biblical texts, including the phenomenon of inner biblical exegesis. The essays are divided into five sections: Rites and Social Status; Gender and Sexuality; Disability; Holiness, Purity, the Alien; Death, Burial, Afterlife and their Metaphorical Uses. The author introduces each of the sections, contextualizing each essay in his larger scholarly project, reflecting on its development and reception and, in some cases, responding to his critics.
Author: Bernadette J. Brooten
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2009-02-15
Genre: Social Science
Love Between Women examines female homoeroticism and the role of women in the ancient Roman world. Employing an unparalleled range of cultural sources, Brooten finds evidence of marriages between women and establishes that condemnations of female homoerotic practices were based on widespread awareness of love between women. "An extraordinary accomplishment. . . . A definitive source for all future discussion of homoeroticism and the Bible."—Mary Rose D'Angelo, Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review "[Brooten's] convincing analysis . . . not only profoundly reshapes our understanding of the past, but it should also shape the way in which that past, particularly the early Christian texts with their immense normative weight, will be used for the future."—Anne L. Clark, Journal of Lesbian Studies "Love Between Women gives contemporary debates on sexuality a carefully delineated past. It boldly insists upon a different future, one informed by history but not tyrannized by it."—Susan Ackerman, Lambda Book Report "Fascinating, provocative and lucid. . . . Brooten has made a fundamental contribution to women's and gender studies, gay and lesbian studies, and classics."—Elizabeth A. Castelli, Women's Review of Books Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Studies Book, 1997
Author: Susan Ackerman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2005-06-01
Genre: Literary Criticism
Toward the end of the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh King Gilgamesh laments the untimely death of his comrade Enkidu, "my friend whom I loved dearly." Similarly in the Bible, David mourns his companion, Jonathan, whose "love to me was wonderful, greater than the love of women." These passages, along with other ambiguous erotic and sexual language found in the Gilgamesh epic and the biblical David story, have become the object of numerous and competing scholarly inquiries into the sexual nature of the heroes' relationships. Susan Ackerman's innovative work carefully examines the stories' sexual and homoerotic language and suggests that its ambiguity provides new ways of understanding ideas of gender and sexuality in the ancient Near East and its literature. In exploring the stories of Gilgamesh and Enkidu and David and Jonathan, Ackerman cautions against applying modern conceptions of homosexuality to these relationships. Drawing on historical and literary criticism, Ackerman's close readings analyze the stories of David and Gilgamesh in light of contemporary definitions of sexual relationships and gender roles. She argues that these male relationships cannot be taken as same-sex partnerships in the modern sense, but reflect the ancient understanding of gender roles, whether in same- or opposite-sex relationships, as defined as either active (male) or passive (female). Her interpretation also considers the heroes' erotic and sexual interactions with members of the opposite sex. Ackerman shows that the texts' language and erotic imagery suggest more than just an intense male bonding. She argues that, though ambiguous, the erotic imagery and language have a critical function in the texts and serve the political, religious, and aesthetic aims of the narrators. More precisely, the erotic language in the story of David seeks to feminize Jonathan and thus invalidate his claim to Israel's throne in favor of David. In the case of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, whose egalitarian relationship is paradoxically described using the hierarchically dependent language of sexual relationships, the ambiguous erotic language reinforces their status as liminal figures and heroes in the epic tradition.
Author: David L. Balch
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Release Date: 2000
Homosexuality is one of the most hotly debated issues in the church today. This book arises directly out of the current discussion of what the Bible says about the morality of homosexual acts and relationships. Taking up the question from both sides of the debate, twelve biblical scholars, psychologists, and theologians debate the meaning of the scriptural passages on homosexuality -- from Genesis, Leviticus, Romans, and 1 Corinthians -- in light of contemporary scientific and exegetical evidence. Balanced and well reasoned, this volume will help readers constructively engage this pressing, highly sensitive subject.
Author: Joan E. Taylor
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2014-07-31
The body is an entity on which religious ideology is printed. Thus it is frequently a subject of interest, anxiety, prescription and regulation in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, as well as in early Christian and Jewish writings. Issues such as the body's age, purity, sickness, ability, gender, sexual actions, marking, clothing, modesty or placement can revolve around what the body is and is not supposed to be or do. The Body in Biblical, Christian and Jewish Texts comprises a range of inter-disciplinary and creative explorations of the body as it is described and defined in religious literature, with chapters largely written by new scholars with fresh perspectives. This is a subject with wide and important repercussions in diverse cultural contexts today.
Two Catholics and a Protestant attempt an unbiased examination of what biblical texts have to say about homosexuality, in an analysis that even looks at Jesus's own sexual orientation and attitudes toward homosexuality. Original.
“God and the Gay Christian is a game changer. Winsome, accessible, and carefully researched, every page is brought to life by the author’s clear love for Scripture and deep, persistent faith. With this book, Matthew Vines emerges as one of my generation’s most important Christian leaders, not only on matters of sexuality but also on what it means to follow Jesus with wisdom, humility, and grace. Prepare to be challenged and enlightened, provoked and inspired. Read with an open heart and mind, and you are bound to be changed.” — Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood and Faith Unraveled As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships. Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. With care and precision, Vines asked questions such as: • Do biblical teachings on the marriage covenant preclude same-sex marriage or not? • How should we apply the teachings of Jesus to the gay debate? • What does the story of Sodom and Gomorrah really say about human relationships? • Can celibacy be a calling when it is mandated, not chosen? • What did Paul have in mind when he warned against same-sex relations? Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian is likely to spark heated debate, sincere soul searching, even widespread cultural change. Not only is it a compelling interpretation of key biblical texts about same-sex relations, it is also the story of a young man navigating relationships with his family, his hometown church, and the Christian church at large as he expresses what it means to be a faithful gay Christian. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Ellen T. Armour
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2006-07-11
Genre: Social Science
In such works as Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter Judith Butler broke new ground in understanding the construction and performance of identities. While Butler's writings have been crucial and often controversial in the development of feminist and queer theory, Bodily Citations is the first anthology centered on applying her theories to religion. In this collection scholars in anthropology, biblical studies, theology, ethics, and ritual studies use Butler's work to investigate a variety of topics in biblical, Islamic, Buddhist, and Christian traditions. The authors shed new light on Butler's ideas and highlight their ethical and political import. They also broaden the scope of religious studies as they bring it into conversation with feminist and queer theory. Subjects discussed include the woman's mosque movement in Cairo, the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the possibility of queer ethics, religious ritual, and biblical constructions of sexuality. Contributors include: Karen Trimble Alliaume, Lewis University; Teresa Hornsby, Drury University; Amy Hollywood, Harvard Divinity School; Christina Hutchins, Pacific School of Religion; Saba Mahmood, University of California, Berkeley; Susanne Mrozik, Mount Holyoke College; Claudia Schippert, University of Central Florida; Rebecca Schneider, Brown University; Ken Stone, Chicago Theological Seminary
Author: Martin J. Buss
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Release Date: 2014-01-13
Good Sex presents sexual ethics in the light of faith. Speaking on behalf of Christianity, Buss describes love your neighbor as yourself as the only Christian rule; it is a positive rule rather than one that focuses on prohibitions. Since this call is never fulfilled in practice, it is joined by forgiveness for oneself and others. More concrete guidelines need to be aided by wisdom, which is not specifically Christian. Detailed biblical support is provided at the end. Stipe, a contemporary Pagan, advocates respect for all living things and doing no harm as a minimal ethical guide, leaving positive prescriptions to individual judgment. Buss and Stipe discuss details of sexual ethics in largely positive terms--what is good to do--but also with a concern for problems that should be avoided. They agree in many practical matters, just as Christians and Pagans did many years ago, before sexual equality became an ideal. They discuss various kinds of sex, including seeing and being seen, touching, masturbation, and penetration; different sexual identities; committed and uncommitted relationships, including the advisability of extended relations; having and raising children; abortion; and sensuous awareness in a spiritual setting.