The Boswell Thesis: Essays on Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality

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Mathew Kuefler
University of Chicago Press, Mar 1, 2006 - History - 348 pages
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Few books have had the social, cultural, and scholarly impact of John Boswell's Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality. Arguing that neither the Bible nor the Christian tradition was nearly as hostile to homoeroticism as was generally thought, its initial publication sent shock waves through university classrooms, gay communities, and religious congregations. Twenty-five years later, the aftershocks still reverberate. The Boswell Thesis brings together fifteen leading scholars at the intersection of religious and sexuality studies to comment on this book's immense impact, the endless debates it generated, and the many contributions it has made to our culture.

The essays in this magnificent volume examine a variety of aspects of Boswell's interpretation of events in the development of sexuality from Classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages, including a Roman emperor's love letters to another man; suspicions of sodomy among medieval monks, knights, and crusaders; and the†gender-bending visions of Christian saints and mystics. Also included are discussions of Boswell's career, including his influence among gay and lesbian Christians and his role in academic debates between essentialists and social constructionists.

Elegant and thought-provoking, this collection provides a fitting twenty-fifth anniversary tribute to the incalculable influence of Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality and its author.
  

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Contents

1 The Boswell Thesis
1
PART I IMPACT
33
2 John Boswells Gay Science
35
3 Touching on the Past
57
4 Reading CSTH as a Call to Action
74
5 Both as a Christian and as a Historian
88
PART II DEBATES
109
6 Fronto + Marcus
111
10 Male Friendship and the Suspicion of Sodomy in Twelfth Century France
179
PART III INNOVATIONS
213
11 Impossible Translation
215
12 Beauty and Passion in TenthCentury Cůrdoba
236
13 Sexual Mutilation and Castration Anxiety
254
14 Knighthood Compulsory Heterosexuality and Sodomy
273
15 The Body of Gerardesca of Pisa Reclothed and Resexed
287
16 Francis of Assisi as Mother Father and Androgynous Figure
301

1832
130
8 My Sister My Spouse
152
9 RW Southern John Boswell and the Sexuality of Anselm
167
List of Contributors
333
Index
337
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Mathew Kuefler is associate professor of history at San Diego State University. He is the author of The Manly Eunuch: Masculinity, Gender Ambiguity, and Christian Ideology in Late Antiquity and editor of the Journal of the History of Sexuality.



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