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The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology

In this startling original work of historical detection, Mark D. Jordan explores the invention of Sodomy by medieval Christendom, examining its conceptual foundations in theology and gauging its impact on Christian sexual ethics both then and now. This book is for everyone involved in the ongoing debate within organized religions and society in general over moral judgments of same-sex eroticism.

"A crucial contribution to our understanding of the tortured and tortuous relationship between men who love men, and the Christian religion—indeed, between our kind and Western society as a whole. . . . The true power of Jordan’s study is that it gives back to gay and lesbian people our place in history and that it places before modern theologians and church leaders a detailed history of fear, inconsistency, hatred and oppression that must be faced both intellectually and pastorally."—Michael B. Kelly, Screaming Hyena

"[A] detailed and disturbing tour through the back roads of medieval Christian thought."—Dennis O’Brien, Commonweal

"Being gay and being Catholic are not necessarily incompatible modes of life, Jordan argues. . . . Compelling and deeply learned."—Virginia Quarterly Review

200 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1997

Gay and Lesbian Studies

Gender and Sexuality

History: European History

Religion: Christianity

Table of Contents

A Prelude after Nietzsche: The Responsibilities of a History of Sodomy
1: The Passions of St. Pelagius
2: The Discovery of Sodomy
3: Peter Damian: Books in Gomorrah
4: Alan of Lille: Natural Artifices
5: The Care of Sodomites
6: Albert the Great: The Sodomitic Physiology
7: Thomas Aquinas: The Sin against Nature
A Postlude after St. Ambrose: The Responsibilities of a Theology of Sodomy
Works Cited


AHA Committee on Lesbian and Gay History: John Boswell Prize

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