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Columbia University Press
The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity / Edition 20

The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity / Edition 20

by Peter Robert BrownPeter Robert Brown
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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231144070
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 07/03/2008
Series: Columbia Classics in Religion Series
Edition description: Twentieth Anniversary Edition with a New Introduction
Pages: 568
Sales rank: 868,828
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Peter Brown, formerly professor of classics and history at the University of California, Berkeley, is the Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History at Princeton University and the most prominent scholar of late antiquity (between 250 and 800 A.D.). He is the author of a dozen books, including Augustine of Hippo, Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianization of the Roman World, The Rise of Western Christendom, and Poverty and Leadership in the Late Roman Empire.

Table of Contents

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

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