Sex Lives of Saints An Erotics of Ancient Hagiography
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Description: Has a repressive morality been the primary contribution of Christianity to the history of sexuality? The ascetic concerns that pervade ancient Christian texts would seem to support such a common assumption. Focusing on hagiographical literature, Virginia Burrus pursues a fresh path of interpretation, arguing that the early accounts of the lives of saints are not antierotic but rather convey a sublimely transgressive "countereroticism" that resists the marital, procreative ethic of sexuality found in other strands of Christian tradition. Without reducing the erotics of ancient hagiography to a single formula,The Sex Lives of Saintsframes the broad historical, theological, and theoretical issues at stake in such a revisionist interpretation of ascetic eroticism, with particular reference to the work of Michel Foucault and Georges Bataille, David Halperin and Geoffrey Harpham, Leo Bersani and Jean Baudrillard. Burrus subsequently proceeds through close, performative readings of the earliest Lives of Saints, mostly dating to the late fourth and early fifth centuries--Jerome's Lives of Paul, Malchus, Hilarion, and Paula; Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Macrina; Augustine's portrait of Monica; Sulpicius Severus's Life of Martin; and the slightly later Lives of so-called harlot saints. Queer, s/m, and postcolonial theories are among the contemporary discourses that prove intriguingly resonant with an ancient art of "saintly" loving that remains, in Burrus's reading, promisingly mobile, diverse, and open-ended.
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All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.
List price: $22.50
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication date: 10/29/2007
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
|Introduction: Hagiography and the History of Sexuality|
|Fancying Hermits: Sublimation And The Arts Of Romance|
|The Queer Life of Paul the Hermit|
|The Queer Marriage of Malchus the Monk|
|Hilarion's Last Laugh|
|Prolongations: Fantasies of a Faun|
|Reading (as) Another, Woman|
|Dying For A Life: Martyrdom, Masochism, And Female (Auto)Biography|
|Testimony to (Woman's) Survival|
|Fragments of an Autobiography|
|Hybrid Desire: Empire, Sadism, And The Soldier Saint|
|Domination and Submission in the Life of Martin|
|The Hagiographer, the Ethnographer, and the Native|
|Secrets Of Seduction: The Lives Of Holy Harlots|
|The Lamb, the Wolf, and the Fool: Mary, Niece of Abraham|
|Seduction of the Eye: Pelagia of Antioch|
|Sacrifice in the Desert: Mary of Egypt|
|The Joy of Harlotry|
|Postscript (Catching My Breath)|