By Jennifer Wright Knust
Early Christians used fees of adultery, incest, and lascivious habit to demonize their rivals, police insiders, withstand pagan rulers, and outline what it intended to be a Christian. Christians often claimed that they, and so they on my own have been sexually virtuous, evaluating themselves to these marked as outsiders, specifically non-believers and "heretics," who have been acknowledged to be managed via lust and not able to rein of their carnal wishes. precise or now not, those fees allowed Christians to provide themselves as varied from and morally greater to these round them. via cautious, leading edge readings, Jennifer Knust explores the writings of Paul, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons, and different early Christian authors who argued that Christ on my own made self-mastery attainable. Rejection of Christ resulted in either immoral sexual habit and, eventually, alienation and punishment from God. Knust considers how Christian writers participated in a protracted culture of rhetorical invective, a rhetoric that was once usually hired to shield prestige and distinction. Christians borrowed, deployed, and reconfigured classical rhetorical options, turning them opposed to their rulers to undercut their ethical and political authority. Knust additionally examines using accusations of licentiousness in conflicts among rival teams of Christians. Portraying rival sects as wicked allowed accusers to say their very own crew as consultant of "true Christianity." Knust's ebook additionally finds the ways that sexual slurs and their use in early Christian writings mirrored cultural and gendered assumptions approximately what constituted purity, morality, and fact. In doing so, deserted to Lust highlights the complicated interrelationships among intercourse, gender, and sexuality in the classical, biblical, and early-Christian traditions.
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Extra resources for Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity (Gender, Theory and Religion)
Aristotle argued that slaves have no faculty of deliberation but require their masters, those who have the capacity for moral goodness, to rule over them (Pol. 1260a4–1260b8). Freeborn women were said to be similarly incapacitated by the peculiarity of their gender—they do possess the faculty of deliberation but in them it lacks authority (Pol. 1260a4). Craftsmen and the like, those who labor for their living, free by birth or formerly slaves, can possess some virtue, though in a measure proportionate to the extent of servitude their profession requires of them (Pol.
Nobility 7. liberality B. Actions following from the virtues 1. those following from their aims a. altruistic b. good c. acts in the public interest d. braves dangers 2. the circumstances of the virtuous actions a. timely b. original c. performed alone d. surpassed others e. received little help from others f. acted with wisdom beyond his years g. persevered against all odds h. at great personal cost i. 31 Note how closely this list follows the recommended outline for a speech of praise, with each of the outlined sections assigned an opposite disadvantage or vice: noble birth or slave origin, association with a noble 22 SEXUAL SLANDER AND ANCIENT INVECTIVE (Greek) city or non-Greek origin, education and wealth or having to work in a degrading occupation, self-control or reprehensible sexual behavior, beauty and health or improper appearance and dress, courage or military desertion, vitality or gloominess.
Whatever their origin, they display a servile nature (douloprevpeia). 41 They are cowardly, faithless, and so on. Many of the standard categories appear. 42 In his speech De corona, Demosthenes defended his private life and his public transactions in response to charges made by his accuser, Aeschines (De cor. 8). 43 His father was a slave. His mother engaged in indiscriminate sexual intercourse in a public latrine. He was brought up to excel in minor parts on the stage (129). His servile origin and lack of means led him to accept menial and degrading occupations (258).
Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity (Gender, Theory and Religion) by Jennifer Wright Knust