Christianity and Sexuality in the Early Modern World is the first global survey of such for the early modern period. Merry Wiesner-Hanks assesses the role of personal faith and the church itself in the control and expression of all aspects of sexuality. The book ranges over developments within Europe and beyond to the European colonies including Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Goa, which were establishing themselves around the world. Christian missionaries and rituals and structures accompanied all of the imperial powers and the control of the sexuality of both indigenous peoples and colonists was an essential part of policy.
The book is introduced with a clear, original and engaging account of the central concepts in the study of sexuality in Christianity, such as shame, sin, the body, marriage and gender. Drawing on diverse evidence including literary, medical and historical the following sections chart changes in Western Christianity in the Late Middle Ages, Protestantism and Catholicism in Europe, Orthodoxy in Eastern Europe and Russia, and finally the Spanish, Portuguese, English and Dutch Colonies. Merry Wiesner-Hanks exciting book covers both the ideas and effects in each period.
Christianity and Sexuality in the early Modern World includes discursive bibliographies which discuss major books and articles at the end of each chapter.