Early Christian texts offer familiar and unfamiliar patterns, norms, and possibilities for the aspects of human life that people today call gender and sexuality. This course examines the pertinent categories and social and theological logic of Christians in distant cultures by exploring a variety of ancient sources, taking into account challenging issues raised by feminist and LGBTQ+ historians. Questions include: Was gender permanent or fluid? What kinds of sexual relationships did Christians consider acceptable, and why? How did the rise of clerical and ascetic roles bend boundaries and create new possibilities? What are the risks and benefits of using current categories to study premodern sources, and how might premodern sources provide fresh perspective or new inspiration for reasoning about gender and sexuality today?
Prerequisite: BX 101 or NT 101 or permission of the instructor.
Notes: Total enrollment limited to twelve students. Generally offered every other spring, odd years. Identical to CH 312.
- Professor: Julia Kelto Lillis