Kathy L. Gaca

in The Making of Fornication

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780520235991
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929463 | DOI:

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This book aims to resolve an important philosophical and historical problem about the making of sexual morality in Western culture. There are three main reasons why many scholars emphasize apparent connections between Greek moral philosophy and Christian sexual morality at the expense of the disparities. The work directly complements the social history of early Christian sexual asceticism and related didactic ideology. It examines the arguments that Plato, the Stoics, and the Pythagoreans offer to support their respective conceptions of justifiable and unjustifiable sexual conduct. The book also focuses on the Septuagint's sexual laws and on the normative sexual poetics of the Pentateuch and Prophets. It then demonstrates how the Greek philosophical and biblical sexual principles are reworked in three very different sectors of patristic Christian thought: the sexually encratite, the proto-orthodox, and the more libertine positions. The problems with fornication are described.

Keywords: Christian sexual morality; Western culture; Greek moral philosophy; sexual blueprints; social order; Christian sexual asceticism; fornication; Plato; Stoics; Pythagoreans

Chapter.  10448 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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