Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female by Bernadette J. Brooten

By Bernadette J. Brooten

Love among Women examines woman homoeroticism and the function of girls within the old Roman global. applying an unprecedented variety of cultural resources, Brooten reveals facts of marriages among ladies and establishes that condemnations of lady homoerotic practices have been in keeping with frequent know-how of affection among women.

"An remarkable accomplishment. . . . A definitive resource for all destiny dialogue of homoeroticism and the Bible."—Mary Rose D'Angelo, Harvard homosexual & Lesbian Review

"[Brooten's] convincing research . . . not just profoundly reshapes our knowing of the earlier, however it also needs to form the way that previous, fairly the early Christian texts with their huge normative weight, can be used for the future."—Anne L. Clark, Journal of Lesbian Studies

"Love among Women supplies modern debates on sexuality a gently delineated previous. It boldly insists upon a special destiny, one knowledgeable by way of historical past yet no longer tyrannized via it."—Susan Ackerman, Lambda e-book Report

"Fascinating, provocative and lucid. . . . Brooten has made a primary contribution to women's and gender reports, homosexual and lesbian experiences, and classics."—Elizabeth A. Castelli, Women's overview of Books

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for top Lesbian reports ebook, 1997

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Additional resources for Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism (The Chicago Series on Sexuality, History, and Society)

Example text

Berlin: Akademie, 1972] 337). 46. See Jonathan Ned Katz, "The Invention of Heterosexuality," Socialist Review 20: 1 (1990) 7 - 34; and Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, 42f. 47. , Aristophanes (5th C. BCE), Wasps 1346; Frogs 1308. Lucian of Samosata (2d C. CE), The Mistaken Critic 28, uses A€uf3ui(€w ... " For extensive discussion, see H. D. S. 26 (1980) 12-66, esp. 30-34; 48 n. 66; 57-61. See also Dover, Greek Homosexuality, 182-84; and Judith P. Hallett, "Sappho and Her Social Context: Sense and Sensuality," Signs 4 (1979) 451£.

And while most sources seem to assume that a tribas has sex only with women, according to one source she just prefers women to men. Whereas the ancient authors are rather vague about the sexual acts of a tribas, they vividly depict her as one who takes on a male role and male desires. Historians who have conceptualized female homoeroticism as parallel to male homoeroticism have overlooked crucial historical evidence that could help us understand the history of female homoeroticism and periodize it properly.

18 CHAPTER ONE analyses of lesbian identity and of the religious constructions of gender roles. To exclude the sources of this study from lesbian history would mean drawing an artificial line. Without Paul, we cannot understand twentiethcentury Christian responses to lesbians. Without Roman-period depictions ofSappho, we miss nuances in later cultural representations ofSappho and do not fully comprehend how moderns were able to use Sappho to oppose female poets and to define female deviancy. Without knowledge of the selective clitoridectomy performed on women with "masculine" desires, we might erroneously see nineteenth- and twentieth-century lobotomies and hysterectomies performed on lesbians as absolute innovations.

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