1st Edition

Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods An Exploration into the Religious Significance of Male Homosexuality in World Perspective

By Ronald Long Copyright 2004
    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    Compare worldwide religious regulations involving gay sex and masculinity!

    Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods: An Exploration into the Religious Significance of Male Homosexuality in World Perspective is an eye-opening look at the traditions of particular religions and their edicts concerning gay sex. This book examines the origins of holy directives involving homosexuality—whether forbidden, tolerated, or mandatory—and establishes a link between theology, sex roles, and the sensitive issue of masculinity. This text draws a parallel between homosexuality and the idea of religion, suggesting that gay rights can be understood as a freedom of religion issue.

    While most readers are familiar with the traditional Islamic, Christian, and Hebrew prohibitions against sex between two males, this book also reveals other historic religions from around the world that neither opposed nor looked down on homosexuality. Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods argues that masculinity is the universal theme that formed historical interpretation—warriors and men of high status could not be sexually receptive or “feminine” and still be called “men.” This intriguing text shows how the modern homophile movements are in effect redefining masculinity to obliterate the stigma of being a sexually receptive man.

    Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods examines the significance of homosexuality in such religions as:

    • the Sambians of New Guinea
    • the Taoists of Ancient China
    • Plato and the later Stoics
    • Islamic Sufism
    • Native American culture
    • Hebrew Scriptures
    • early Christianity
    • Buddhism
    Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods is an enlightening book that honors homosexual claims to moral integrity and appreciates religion and religious figures without rancor. Easy-to-read and free of technical language, this volume is for anyone who has an academic, professional, or personal interest in theology and homosexuality.

    The author is available for speaking engagements and can be contacted at [email protected]

    • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter 1. Straight Thinking on Some Not-So-Straightforward Matters
    • Getting Our Bearings
    • How Shall We Think of Religion?
    • What of “Homosexuality”?
    • Chapter 2. Holy Homosexuality: Of Men and Semen
    • The Sambians of Papua New Guinea: It Will Make a Man of You
    • The Taoists of Ancient China and the Preservation of Life
    • Chapter 3. Holy Homoeroticism: Splendid Men and Splendor Divine
    • Plato and the World of Ancient Athens
    • The Platonism of Islamic Sufism
    • Chapter 4. Holy Effeminacy: The Native American Berdache As Living War Charm
    • Men and Manhood
    • Berdaches: Third-Gendered Persons or Unmanned Men?
    • Chapter 5. Holy Homophobia in the Hebrew Scriptures
    • Homophobia and the Fear of Exile
    • The Fear of Death: Anal Intercourse As “Unsafe Sex”
    • The Fear of Disorder: Homosexual Sex As Deformity
    • Alien Worship, Enemy Ways in War
    • Whose Body Is It Anyway?
    • Chapter 6. Early Christianity: A Revolution Aborted?
    • Paul: Food, Sex, Sin, and Taste
    • Augustine of Hippo: Sex, Homosexuality, Faith, and Death
    • Chapter 7. The Variegated Lotus: Homosexual Sex and Historical Buddhism
    • The Nirvanic Transcendence of Desire
    • Enlightenment and Homosexual Sex in Japan and Tibet
    • Chapter 8. Struggles on the American Front
    • A Gay Agenda? And the Social Good
    • Gay Rights As a Freedom of Religion Issue
    • The Spiritual Challenge of Contemporary Homophile Movements
    • Toward a New Poetic of Masculinity
    • Notes
    • Bibliography
    • Index


    Ronald Long