Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern EuropeJuly 22, 2011 by Reverend Tucker
by John Boswell
He makes a compelling argument in “Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe”. Something more impressive than making a convincing argument about the Catholic Church sanctifying gay marriage, something that today could not be less true? This exhaustive account of history and folklore is a great read. Interesting, well written and thorough, this book makes a controversial claim and then follows it up with chapters of facts and examples of actual ceremonies that make it nearly impossible to refute his case.
One of the founding members of the Gay studies at Yale University, Boswell spent his life studying homosexuality and religion, and primary Christianity as he himself was a Roman Catholic. In studying this subject, Boswell found it as a way to reconcile his sexual preference with his religious beliefs.
An explosive claim made by Boswell was that St. Bacchus and St. Sergius were homosexuals and the relationship between them was intimate. These two saints were Roman soldiers during the 3rd century who were martyred for their religious beliefs when they were exposed as secret Christians. The claim made by Boswell has been refuted many times as many historians, namely Christian historians, call it blasphemy.
Boswell is a fabulous historian. Up front and patient, he starts the book by explaining the difficulties of translation and how when incorrectly done, it can mislead readers. He also ends the book with a list of the cited manuscripts so readers are able to do plenty of fact checking. Though I personally did not, the availability as well as Boswells credentials leave me inclined to believe his argument his legitimate.
The book’s thorough referencing makes the weighty claim seem reasonable. This book also provides a window into a heated debate with people all over the political and religious spectrums weighing in. Many cite this argument, among others, to combat the Church’s vehement opposition to gay marriage while others decry Boswell for heresy.
The Universal Life Church carries this book, among others, which discuss homosexuality in religion. Please visit the ULC Bookstore and pick up a copy! If you feel called to become a pastor online, please visit TheMinistries.org.
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