Nigel Campbell's picture

Were Same-Sex Marriages Blessed By The Christian Church In 100 A.D.??

Same-sex marriages were performed in the church in 100 A.D.??

Hmm...that detail may be an issue for advocates of "traditional marriage."

i09 published a really interesting piece on Monday discussing the works of historian John Boswell, who published a controversial book in 1994 that provided evidence of these same-sex marriages that were supported by the Christian Church.

Here's an excerpt:

"John Boswell was a historian and religious Catholic who dedicated much of his scholarly life to studying the late Roman Empire and early Christian Church. Poring over legal and church documents from this era, he discovered something incredible. There were dozens of records of church ceremonies where two men were joined in unions that used the same rituals as heterosexual marriages. (He found almost no records of lesbian unions, which is probably an artifact of a culture which kept more records about the lives of men generally.)

Bolstered by this evidence, Boswell published a book in 1994, the year before his death from AIDS, called Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe. The book comes out next month for the first time in a digital edition. It was an instant lightening rod for controversy, drawing criticism from both the Catholic Church and sex pundit Camille Paglia. Given the Church's present-day views on gay marriage, these detractors argued, Boswell's history seemed like wishful thinking.

But it wasn't. Boswell had actually begun his research back in the 1970s, and published an equally controversial work in 1980 called Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century. His Same-Sex Unions book refined and expanded a lot of what he'd learned over a lifetime of research into primary sources in scattered libraries and archives.

How could these marriages have been forgotten by history? One easy answer is that — as Boswell argues — the Church reframed the idea of marriage in the 13th century to be for the purposes of procreation. And this slammed the door on gay marriage. Church scholars and officials worked hard to suppress the history of these marriages in order to justify their new definition."

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Check out the full article here.  We wonder if people will be more receptive to Boswell's work nearly 20 years after its publication? 

Is the Christian Church guilty of suppressing source material that proves same-sex unions were just as blessed as those of our heterosexual counterparts??

 

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