When Brothers Dwell in Unity: Byzantine Christianity and Homosexuality

Author:   Stephen Morris
Publisher:   McFarland & Co Inc
ISBN:  

9780786495177


Pages:   240
Publication Date:   30 December 2015
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
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When Brothers Dwell in Unity: Byzantine Christianity and Homosexuality


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Overview

In the world of early Byzantine Christianity, monastic rules acknowledged but discouraged the homosexual impulses of adult males. The admission of adolescent males as novices was forbidden. John Chrysostom, the Archbishop of Constantinople (397-407), virulently denounced homosexuality but was virtually the only Byzantine cleric to do so. Canonical prohibitions of anal sex distinguish among eight possible sexual pairings, the most offensive being a husband-wife, the least offensive being two unrelated males. Other forms of male-male sex were considered little more than masturbation. Penances traditionally attached to heterosexual sins - including remarriage after divorce or widowhood - have always been much more severe than those for a variety of homosexual acts or relationships. Just as Byzantine churches have found ways to accommodate sequential marriages and other behavior once stridently condemned, it is possible for Byzantine Christianity to make pastoral accommodations for gay relationships.

Full Product Details

Author:   Stephen Morris
Publisher:   McFarland & Co Inc
Imprint:   McFarland & Co Inc
Dimensions:   Width: 15.20cm , Height: 1.80cm , Length: 22.90cm
Weight:   0.525kg
ISBN:  

9780786495177


ISBN 10:   0786495170
Pages:   240
Publication Date:   30 December 2015
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
This item will be ordered in for you from one of our suppliers. Upon receipt, we will promptly dispatch it out to you. For in store availability, please contact us.

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Reviews

an exceptionally well-written, organized and presented theological treatise for both academic and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Christian theology, with respect to the LGBT community...very highly recommended --<i>Midwest Book Review</i>; I found the book refreshing and courageous. It puts the status of homosexuality within the Byzantine tradition carefully in context. A sound piece of historical writing. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. Morris engages the topic with objectivity, courage and grace. Fearless in dealing with sensitive subjects, its pastoral conclusions are insightful and helpful for discussion of the subject within all Christian churches, not just Orthodox Christianity. --Wendy Mayer, Australian Catholic University; Advocacy, autobiography, and scholarship combine in this a fascinating study of homoeroticism in the Byzantine and Orthodox worlds. Morris also sheds welcome further light on the <i>adelphopoiesis</i> or brother-making same-sex unions in premodern Europe. --Mathew Kuefler, author of <i>The Manly Eunuch: Masculinity, Gender Ambiguity, and Christian Ideology in Late Antiquity</i>; Original and significant...[Morris argues] that the Orthodox Church can recognize the adelphopoiesis rite known from Byzantine times as a recognition of same-sex civil marriage and supports [his] argument convincingly throughout the book by drawing on the parallel of ecclesiastical recognition for second and third marriages, with historical antecedents that reach back to the 9th century. --Claudia Rapp, Professor of Byzantine Studies (University of Vienna), author of <i>Brother-Making in Late Antiquity: Monks, Laymen and Christian Ritual</i>


an exceptionally well-written, organized and presented theological treatise for both academic and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Christian theology, with respect to the LGBT community...very highly recommended --Midwest Book Review; the author is to be commended for a gripping, if chilling, read...sobering --The Journal of Theological Studies; brave and intelligent --Journal of Ecclesiastical History; I found the book refreshing and courageous. It puts the status of homosexuality within the Byzantine tradition carefully in context. A sound piece of historical writing. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. Morris engages the topic with objectivity, courage and grace. Fearless in dealing with sensitive subjects, its pastoral conclusions are insightful and helpful for discussion of the subject within all Christian churches, not just Orthodox Christianity. --Wendy Mayer, Australian Catholic University; Advocacy, autobiography, and scholarship combine in this a fascinating study of homoeroticism in the Byzantine and Orthodox worlds. Morris also sheds welcome further light on the adelphopoiesis or brother-making same-sex unions in premodern Europe. --Mathew Kuefler, author of The Manly Eunuch: Masculinity, Gender Ambiguity, and Christian Ideology in Late Antiquity; Original and significant...[Morris argues] that the Orthodox Church can recognize the adelphopoiesis rite known from Byzantine times as a recognition of same-sex civil marriage and supports [his] argument convincingly throughout the book by drawing on the parallel of ecclesiastical recognition for second and third marriages, with historical antecedents that reach back to the 9th century. --Claudia Rapp, Professor of Byzantine Studies (University of Vienna), author of Brother-Making in Late Antiquity: Monks, Laymen and Christian Ritual


Author Information

Stephen Morris is an independent scholar who lives in New York City, USA. He has studied Byzantine and medieval history and theology at Yale and St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Academy with Dr. John Boswell, Fr. Aidan Kavanaugh, Fr. John Meyendorff, and Fr. Alexander Schmemann. He has written on patristic preaching and exegesis as well as medieval and Byzantine hagiography.

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