Chapter

Driving Aphrodite from the World

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520235991.003.0008
Driving Aphrodite from the World

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This chapter examines Tatian's reasons for thinking that Christians must reject sexual activity altogether in order to be saved. It also uses the extant fragment from Tatian's On Perfection according to the Savior and his Oratio ad Graecos. The chapter then investigates the Greek ideas which motivated Tatian to declare that sexual activity is contrary to the way of God. Tatian believes that the Greek gods tangibly exist and that they have the powers traditionally associated with them in Greek religion, Homer, and astrology. A discussion on Tatian and the early Christian dilemma between choosing God or Aphrodite is also presented. Tatian reinterprets the Prophets' and Paul's ideas about God's punishment of his spiritually adulterous people. The theme of soul therapy allows him to recreate the metaphor of adultery in the Prophets and Paul. Tatian's principle of sexual renunciation has not become the dominant mode of Christian sexual mores.

Keywords: Tatian; God; Christian sexual mores; Aphrodite; Prophets; Paul; sexual renunciation

Chapter.  13052 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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