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ERIC Number: EJ1082027
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0151
John Boswell: Posting Historical Landmarks at the Leading Edge of the Culture Wars
Cisneros, Jeffrey
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, v14 n1 p53-79 Spr-Sum 2013
One of the most enduring and controversial figures in the field of history is John E. Boswell. His work on homosexuality and the history of the Christian Church was published at a key time during the Stonewall Riots in the late 1960s and the removal of homosexuality from the list of diagnostic mental disorders in the mid 1970s. This social upheaval created a dynamic that not only influenced Boswell personally but contributed to the vehement reaction to his book "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century" (CSTH). Written in 1980, this book has profoundly influenced theological debates in numerous Christian denominations, particularly in the United States. Boswell's private papers illustrate the controversy surrounding the publication of CSTH, the heart of which centered on his contention that Christianity was not always hostile to homosexuality. This contention was poorly received by secular gay activists on the left, who were negative about the Church, as well as by religious conservatives on the right, who were negative about homosexuality. Boswell's book created a moment in time when politically odd bedfellows worked together to defend outdated but cherished ideas about how Christianity historically treated homosexuals.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A