Friendship and Love, Ethics and Politics
Studies in Mediaeval and Early Modern History
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Central European University Press
The Natalie Zemon Davis annual lecture series at the Central European University has given me the opportunity to reformulate in English some of the interpretations of friendship, love, and sexuality in premodern...
Chapter 1 - Friendship, Love, and Sexuality in Premodern Times: Themes and problems
As Michel Foucault said, we academics ought always to ask ourselves why something suddenly becomes a scholarly issue. Why do we begin to mull over something that until then had appeared natural and selfevident? Why when faced with a given situation does...
Chapter 2 - Challenging the Private–-Public Dichotomy: Friendship in mediaeval and early modern society
Acknowledgement of the historical relevance of the private–public dichotomy is often associated with Jürgen Habermas’s influential theory, focusing as it does on the bourgeois public sphere in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In his view, this...
Chapter 3 - Me and My Friends: Individuality, friendship, and autobiography from Augustine to Rousseau
My themes in this chapter are individuality, autobiography, and friendship. The combination of individuality and autobiography is hardly surprising. Autobiographies are usually regarded as the best place for authors to reflect upon themselves as unique persons...
Chapter 4 - Sexuality, Love, and Gender: The politics of heteronormativity in Reformation Sweden
As in the rest of Scandinavia, the great narrative of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Sweden tells us about religious reformation and state-formation, defined as a process in which the State took a firm grip on fiscal and military resources, the administration of...
Chapter 5 - Close Relationships—Then and Now
In the previous chapters I set out to show how premodern love and friendship, both as ideals and in the full diversity of reality, were not only important in private life, but also in public life. The focus of my analysis has been the ways that philosophers, writers...