Read eBook Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe – Mariahilff.de

Both highly praised and intensely controversial, this brilliant book produces dramatic evidence that at one time the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches not only sanctioned unions between partners of the same sex, but sanctified them in ceremonies strikingly similar to heterosexual marriage ceremonies.


10 thoughts on “Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe

  1. Jess Jess says:

    This book blew my mind As a historian of Roman religion, early Christianity and the Medieval Church, I never dreamed that the documents he s uncovered would actually exist out there He s unearthed actual Christian liturgy for same sex unions, prayers and blessings that couldn t be clearer about giving sanction to the spiritual bond between two people of the same sex the same way the Church does for opposite sex couples As logical evidence in the current debate, this feels like game, set, match when you read it.


  2. Aaron Aaron says:

    This huge work of scholarship brings to light pre modern documents concerning heterosexual marriages and same sex unions Don t be fooled by the title Our modern sense of the phrase same sex unions sometimes gets interpreted as same sex marriages, which really isn t the case with this book.Sure, there may have been same sex unions that entailed than strong friendship or spiritual unity, but reading this book made me realize how diluted our sense of friendship and how uneducated our knowledge of marriage can be.This book covers ancient attitudes on men and women, as well as the history of marriages and ceremonies, from the pre Christian era through to modern times and would be of great interest to heterosexuals wanting to know about the strange history of wives, concubines, prostitutes, slaves, and everything in between This work includes how attitudes have differed between ancient civilizations concerning love, marriage, and the distinctions and sometimes non distinctions between hetero and homosexual love and unions.As with all of Boswell s work, there is a tremendous amount of footnotes well worth reading and many different languages are brought into the entire discussion as well as thoughts on proper translations , all incredibly fascinating In the back, there are pre modern Christian ceremonies for both heterosexual marriages and same sex unions that have been translated and could actually be used for anyone interested This is another piece of Boswell s work that leaves you with an incredible depth of knowledge and appreciation Highly recommended.


  3. SarahJessica SarahJessica says:

    This book is a short tome for those used to reading academic texts that regularly delve into the original Greek, Hebrew, or other source languages For me, someone who is not used to being steeped in the arcana of ancient text research, this was a tough read That said, I enjoyed what I got out of it And the writer was a preeminent scholar at a renowned institution, so he was well within his scholarly milieu in composing this text in the 90s The biggest revelation here was that not only did same sex unions happen, THERE WERE CHURCH CEREMONIES FOR THEM The author sources them in various places and times, and traces their changes and inclusion and exclusion from various church tomes The history of opposite sex relationships, is far varied and contains many dimensions than current concepts of what has always been allow.The book includes addenda that provide translations of many ancient religious ceremonies, some for unions of same sex couples that function just as marriages did at that time It gets dense, but the point is that same sex relationships have existed since ancient days A side point is that marriage has not always been based on love and for procreation conveying land, title and privilege among the monied classes was paramount at various points Also, statuses other than marriage, including taking a concubine, were seen as the way to pursue a love interest or to satisfy one s sexual urges not marriage, that was a business relationship Diversity is the word I keep coming back to people organized themselves in a surprising diverse array of relationships Also, class plays a huge role in this slaves weren t allowed to participate in some ways the poor in others The epilogue is by far the most accessible part of the book The author provides a concluding observation that whatever significance the same sex marriage ceremony might or might not have for persons living at this juncture of history, its greatest importance lies, along with all other forms of same sex union known in premodern Europe, in its role in European history It is not the province of the historian to direct the actions of future human beings, but only to reflect accurately on those of the past This gets me We have not been reflecting accurately on the same sex relationships of our past We do our present and our future a disservice Humanity does not pass through phases as a train passes through stations being alive, it has the privilege of always moving yet never leaving anything behind Whatever we have been, in some sort we are still, observed C.S Lewis in a related context Recognizing that many probably most earlier Western societies institutionalized some form of romantic same sex union gives us a much accurate view of the immense variety of human romantic relationships and social responses to them than does the prudish pretense that such unmentionable things never happened.And to that I say, Amen.Professor Boswell left us all too soon, as he died from complications from AIDS in 1994 It s a damn shame, as I cannot imagine what he would have brought to the scholarship and popular discussion in the 21 years that have passed Read his obituary in the NY Times here.


  4. Brian Childs Brian Childs says:

    I both appreciated and was annoyed by how academic the book was Boswell made the case that the facts he presented were accurate, but by being so meticulous and detail focused he made a book that was difficult to become immersed in.


  5. Miles Miles says:

    Long story short, traditional Roman Catholic practice clearly included same sex unions of some sort The evidence seems massive and unmistakable The author documents the origins of same sex marriage customs, their variety, and the beginnings of a process of repression which seems to date to the fourteenth century The past may not be as we imagine it.Reading around a bit you can discover that some reviewers question whether these same sex unions included, you know, sex Some view Boswell skeptically But the simple fact that formal religious recognition of unions between people of the same sex existed already paints a different past than we are accustomed to think of The details of what two brothers or sisters did in private are perhaps of secondary importance to the fact that their relationship was legitimized in law and before God.This book is also very interesting for the light that it sheds on marriage customs in general, homosexual and heterosexual It gives you ample opportunity to meditate on what marriage seems to have meant across a vast swathe of time What I take away is the western Church s distance from marriage It appears that various configurations could, prior to the 14th century, present themselves as they were friends, partners, brothers, sisters, allies in the world These relationships were unremarkable in the larger world, and thus blessable by the church The church was anti sexual in general, but in a way that applied as much to heterosexual as same sex couples, and what couples did in that realm was of little interest The church did not approve, but because the matter was sex, it was in a sense beyond its purview Taking that approach it seems that it had little trouble blessing the relationships that were presented to it, and urging chastity which might mean faithfulness to each other, and might mean refraining from sex within the relationship too , but also not concerning itself too much with the questions of sex Boswell concludes whatever significance the ceremony might or might not have for persons living at this the present juncture of history, its greatest importance lies, along with all other forms of same sex union known in pre modern Europe, in its role in European history It is not the province of the historian to direct the actions of future human beings, but only to reflect accurately on those of the past Humanity does not pass through phases as a train passes through stations being alive, it has the privilege of always moving yet never leaving anything behind Whatever we have been, in some sort we are still, observed C S Lewis in a related context Recognizing that many probably most early Western societies institutionalized some form of romantic same sex union gives us a much accurate view of the immense variety of human romantic relationships and social responses to them than does the prudish pretense that such unmentionable things never happened.


  6. Jordan Jordan says:

    I never thought I d call a book titled The Marriage of Likeness Same Sex Unions in Premodern Europe fun, but it was actually fun I m a massive nerd, so that probably contributed, but I found it understandable if you have the concentration to ignore the Greek and Latin footnotes , intelligent, and, at times, very funny The author injects just enough dry humour at the contrast of the world then and now to make me laugh without distracting me from the point Though if you re not a massive nerd maybe this isn t for you.


  7. James Owen Ether James Owen Ether says:

    Before reading this book, I was under the impression that there was no history of same sex unions in premodern europe It turns out that, in fact, there was enough to fill a very large book with things you ll never learn about in school Most notable is the discussion of early Christianity and it s view of marriage vs the marriage beliefs of judaism at the time I highly recommend this book to anyone who is not already a scholar of the subject.


  8. Kellee Kellee says:

    Fascinating Marriage is not even close to what you probably thought it was Especially not Christian concepts of marriage Those squawking about gay marriage not being traditional and heck, those on the other side of the debate should take a gander at this work Super academic, but accessible and interesting as well.


  9. Andrew Mails Andrew Mails says:

    An incredible work of scholarship that is well researched and cited This should be on the reading list for anyone who intends to dive into the discussion of the history of Christian marriage, or the same sex marriage debate.


  10. Tony Tony says:

    Wishful thinking at best, Ridiculous and revisionist in all truth.