Homosexuality and Christianity - Historical Views

Historical Views

Main article: History of Christianity and homosexuality

In 1994, Yale University Church historian John Boswell argued that adelphopoiesis, a rite bonding two men, was akin to a religiously sanctioned same-sex union. Having partaken in such a rite, a person was prohibited from entering into marriage or taking monastic vows, and the choreography of the service itself closely parallelled that of the marriage rite. His views have not found wide acceptance, and opponents have argued that this rite sanctified a Platonic brotherly bond, not a homosexual union. He also argued that condemnation of homosexuality began only in the 12th century. Critics of Boswell have pointed out that many earlier doctrinal sources condemn homosexuality in ethical terms without prescribing a punishment, and that Boswell's citations reflected a general trend towards harsher penalties from the 12th century onwards.

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