Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-13

Contents

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pp. xi-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xvi

My research for this book was generously supported by doctoral fellowships from the University of Toronto Classics Department, a grant from the American Association of University Women, the Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Fellowship in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University, ...

Abbreviations

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pp. xvii-xviii

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Chapter 1. Introduction: Ancient Greek Sexual Blueprints for Social Order

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pp. 1-20

In this study I aim to resolve an important philosophical and historical problem about the making of sexual morality in Western culture: Do the patristic sexual rules of second-century Christianity differ notably from the Greek philosophical sexual principles that the patristic writers used to help formulate their own? ...

Part I: Greek Philosophical Sexual Reforms

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Chapter 2. Desire’s Hunger and Plato the Regulator

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pp. 23-58

Plato’s ideas about human sexual desire (επιθυμία) and sexual activity (άφροδίσια) are a critical part of his social reforms in the Republic and Laws. Why is Plato (ca. 429–347 B.C.E.) interested in curbing what we loosely— and he not at all loosely—call our sex drive? ...

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Chapter 3. Crafting Eros through the Stoic Logos of Nature

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pp. 59-93

Like Plato, the early Stoics Zeno (335–263 B.C.E.) and Chrysippus (280 – 207 B.C.E.) sought to improve moral life in ancient Greek society. They too stressed the need for communal sexual and reproductive reforms, though for reasons that go beyond Plato’s aim to rein in acquisitive desires and that reveal much about the early Stoic conception of sexual eros ...

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Chapter 4. The Reproductive Technology of the Pythagoreans

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pp. 94-116

Little is known about early Pythagorean sexual ethics, but several lineaments become clear from Plato and antedate him. These include determining, through geometry, the right time to reproduce, and advocating an appropriate method of copulation to ensure that the souls of offspring remain free of needless discordance. ...

Part II: Greek Biblical Sexual Rules and Their Reworking by Paul and Philo

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Chapter 5. Rival Plans for God’s Sexual Program in the Pentateuch and Paul

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pp. 119-159

The Septuagint Pentateuch and Paul1 define forbidden sexual conduct by measures designed to orient the society of God’s people strictly toward his devotion and honor.2 Impermissible sexual activity deviates from the First Commandment that one must worship God alone and permissible sexual conduct shows strict devotion to him.3 ...

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Chapter 6. From the Prophets to Paul: Converting Whore Culture into the Lord’s Veiled Bride

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pp. 160-189

Two didactic metaphors in the Pentateuch and Prophets exercise great emotive hold on Paul in his formulation of sexual rules for Christians to follow. The metaphors reinforce the requirement that God’s people must obey his will sexually and in other respects, and that they must organize their society toward this end. ...

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Chapter 7. Philo’s Reproductive City of God

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pp. 190-218

Middle Platonists, by the current scholarly view, favored Plato’s metaphysics but departed from his conviction that civic society as a whole—men, women, and children—needs appetitive reform in order to create better living conditions for the good of the soul, from the modest use of simple food to temperate sexual relations.1 ...

Part III: Patristic Transformations of the Philosophical, Pauline, and Philonic Rules

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Chapter 8. Driving Aphrodite from the World: Tatian and His Encratite Argument

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pp. 221-246

The motives Tatian had for advocating sexual renunciation in the early Christian encratite movement remain largely unexplored and merit better understanding.1 Though not the first Christian encratite on record, his stature as an advocate of Christian sexual renunciation eclipsed that of his predecessors and contemporaries in Greco-Roman society.2 ...

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Chapter 9. Prophylactic Grace in Clement’s Emergent Church Sexual Ethic

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pp. 247-272

The contribution of Clement (ca. 150–216 C.E.) to ecclesiastical plans for sexual reform has great historical value. His writings, like Philo’s, are at the confluence where the Greek philosophical and biblical principles meet and undergo major reworking into emergent church doctrine. ...

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Chapter 10. The Fornicating Justice of Epiphanes

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pp. 273-291

A Christian Platonist disputation from the second century memorably reflects the incompatibility between the principles of sexual order envisioned by Plato and the early Stoics and those of the Septuagint as reinterpreted by Clement of Alexandria in support of Paul and Philo. ...

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Chapter 11. Conclusion: The Demise of Greek Eros and Reproduction

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pp. 292-306

Paul’s ideas about sexual morality and social change were as revolutionary in their formulation as those of Plato, the Pythagoreans, and the early Stoics. In the first century C.E. there was no reason to think that his vision of driving fornication from Gentile lands would take hold with any greater success than Plato’s socialist ideals of civic moderation and justice, ...

Bibliography

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pp. 307-336

Index

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pp. 337-359