Regulating Sex in the Roman Empire

Ideology, the Bible, and the Early Christians

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
David Wheeler-Reed
Synrisis
  • New Haven, CT: 
    Yale University Press
    , November
     2017.
     200 pages.
     $45.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780300227727.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by M. Tong forthcoming.

Description

A New Testament scholar challenges the belief that American family values are based on “Judeo-Christian” norms by drawing unexpected comparisons between ancient Christian theories and modern discourses.

Challenging the long-held assumption that American values—be they Christian or secular—are based on “Judeo-Christian” norms, this provocative study compares ancient Christian discourses on marriage and sexuality with contemporary ones, maintaining that modern family values owe more to Roman Imperial beliefs than to the bible.

Engaging with Foucault’s ideas, Wheeler-Reed examines how conservative organizations and the Supreme Court have misunderstood Christian beliefs on marriage and the family. Taking on modern cultural debates on marriage and sexuality, with implications for historians, political thinkers, and jurists, this book undermines the conservative ideology of the family, starting from the position that early Christianity, in its emphasis on celibacy and denunciation of marriage, was in opposition to procreation, the ideological norm in the Greco-Roman world.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

David Wheeler-Reed is a postdoctoral visiting research fellow at Yale Divinity School and an instructor in religious studies at Albertus Magnus College. His work focuses on the New Testament, the ancient family, and gender and sexuality in antiquity.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments