The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (20th Anniversary)
First published in 1988, Peter Brown's The Body and Society was a groundbreaking study of the marriage and sexual practices of early Christians in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. Brown focuses on the practice of permanent sexual renunciation-continence, celibacy,...
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First published in 1988, Peter Brown's The Body and Society was a groundbreaking study of the marriage and sexual practices of early Christians in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. Brown focuses on the practice of permanent sexual renunciation-continence, celibacy, and lifelong virginity-in Christian circles from the first to the fifth centuries A.D. and traces early Christians' preoccupations with sexuality and the body in the work of the period's great writers.
The Body and Society questions how theological views on sexuality and the human body both mirrored and shaped relationships between men and women, Roman aristocracy and slaves, and the married and the celibate. Brown discusses Tertullian, Valentinus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Constantine, the Desert Fathers, Jerome, Ambrose, and Augustine, among others, and considers asceticism and society in the Eastern Empire, martyrdom and prophecy, gnostic spiritual guidance, promiscuity among the men and women of the church, monks and marriage in Egypt, the ascetic life of women in fourth-century Jerusalem, and the body and society in the early Middle Ages. In his new introduction, Brown reflects on his work's reception in the scholarly community.
PETER BROWN, Rollins Professor of History at Princeton University, is a leading authority on the society of late antiquity and early Christianity. He is author of Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (1967, 2000), The Rise of Western Christendom (1996), Authority and the Sacred (1995), and The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (1988).
- Preface Introduction Part I. From Paul To Anthony 1. Body And City 2. From Apostle To Apologist: Sexual Order And Sexual Renunciation In The Early Church 3. Martyrdom, Prophecy And Continence: Hermas To Tertullian 4. "to Undo The Works Of Women": Marcion, Tatian And The Encratites 5. "when You Make The Two One": Valentinus And Gnostic Spiritual Guidance 6. "a Faint Image Of Divine Providence": Clement Of Alexandria 7. "a Promiscuous Brotherhood And Sisterhood": Men And Women In The Christian Churches 8. "i Beseech You: Be Transformed": Origen 9. "walking On Earth, Touching High Heaven's Vault": Porphyry And Methodius 10. Church And Body: Cyprian, Mani And Eusebius Of Caesarea Part Ii. Asceticism And Society In The Eastern Empire 11. The Desert Fathers: Anthony To John Climacus 12. "make To Yourselves Separate Booths": Monks, Women And Marriage In Egypt 13. "daughters Of Jerusalem": The Ascetic Life Of Women In The Fourth Century 14. Marriage And Mortality: Gregory Of Nyssa 15. Sexuality And The City: John Chrysostom 16. "these Are Our Angels": Syria Part Iii. Ambrose To Augustine: The Making Of The Latin Tradition 17. Aula Pudoris: Ambrose 18. "learn Of Me A Holy Arrogance": Jerome 19. Sexuality And Society: Augustine Epilogue. Body And Society: The Early Middle Ages Bibliography Index