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The Making of FornicationEros, Ethics, and Political Reform in Greek Philosophy and Early Christianity$
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Kathy Gaca

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235991

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235991.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Ancient Greek Sexual Blueprints for Social Order

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
Source:
The Making of Fornication
Author(s):

Kathy L. Gaca

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520235991.003.0001

This book aims to resolve an important philosophical and historical problem about the making of sexual morality in Western culture. There are three main reasons why many scholars emphasize apparent connections between Greek moral philosophy and Christian sexual morality at the expense of the disparities. The work directly complements the social history of early Christian sexual asceticism and related didactic ideology. It examines the arguments that Plato, the Stoics, and the Pythagoreans offer to support their respective conceptions of justifiable and unjustifiable sexual conduct. The book also focuses on the Septuagint's sexual laws and on the normative sexual poetics of the Pentateuch and Prophets. It then demonstrates how the Greek philosophical and biblical sexual principles are reworked in three very different sectors of patristic Christian thought: the sexually encratite, the proto-orthodox, and the more libertine positions. The problems with fornication are described.

Keywords:   Christian sexual morality, Western culture, Greek moral philosophy, sexual blueprints, social order, Christian sexual asceticism, fornication, Plato, Stoics, Pythagoreans

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