The Manly Eunuch
Masculinity, Gender Ambiguity, and Christian Ideology in Late Antiquity
The cultural and demographic success of Christianity during this epoch lay in the ability of its leaders to recognize and respond to this crisis. Drawing on the tradition of gender ambiguity in early Christian teachings, which included Jesus's exhortation that his followers "make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven," Christian writers and thinkers crafted a new masculine ideal, one that took advantage of the changing social realities in Rome, inverted the Roman model of manliness, and helped solidify Christian ideology by reinstating the masculinity of its adherents.
Part One—Changing Realities
1 "MASCULINE SPLENDOR"
2 "MEN RECEIVED A WOUND, AND SUBMIT TO A DEFEAT"
3 "A PURITY HE DOES NOT SHOW HIMSELF"
Part Two—Changing Ideals
4 "I AM A SOLDIER OF CHRIST"
5 "WE PRIESTS HAVE OUR OWN NOBILITY"
6 "MY SEED IS A HUNDRED TIMES MORE FERTILE"
7 "THE MANILESS OF FAITH"
8 "EUNUCHS FOR THE SAKE OF THE
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN"
A NOTE ABOUT THE NOTES