A History Of Celibacy

Front Cover
Da Capo Press, May 24, 2001 - History - 493 pages
2 Reviews
Celibacy is a worldwide practice that is often adopted, rarely discussed. Now, in Elizabeth Abbott's fascinating and wide-ranging history, it is examined in all its various forms: shaping religious lives, conditioning athletes and shamans, surfacing in classical poetry and camp literature, resonating in the voices of castrati, and permeating ancient mythology. Found in every society of the past, practiced by both the anonymous and the legendary (St. Catherine, Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci, Elizabeth I, Gandhi), celibacy has as many stories as adherents, and Abbott weaves them into a provocative, seamless tapestry that brings history alive.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DieFledermaus - LibraryThing

Abbott’s survey of celibacy throughout the ages and across the globe is a feminist take on the ways that celibacy has empowered some and crushed others. The first few chapters look at the celibacy ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

Abbott’s treatise on all manners and varieties of celibacy throughout history is wide-ranging but not all-encompassing. Any such attempt would make the work doubly thick but not doubly rich. While ... Read full review

Contents

Authors Note
13
Chapter 1 Divine Pagan Celibacy
23
Chapter 2 Early Christianity
47
Later Christianity
99
Other Major Religions and Rites
163
Celibacy to Conserve Semen
197
Female Celibacy Transcends Gender
231
Celibacy as Womanly Duty
257
Coerced Celibacy
303
Celibacy to Repress Unconventional
339
Impotent Celibacy
353
Celibacy in Literature
363
The New Celibacy
375
Epilogue
425
Acknowledgments
431
Index
475

Abstaining in a Good Cause
293

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About the author (2001)

Elizabeth Abbott has a Ph.D. in history and is Dean of Women at Trinity College, University of Toronto. She is the author of several books and lives in Toronto.

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