Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pederasty in Rome

 


A few weeks ago, City Church in San Francisco announced its decision to become a “third way” church with respect to the issue of homosexual practice: a church where there could be divergence of opinion and practice (life-long abstaining or life-long commitment to a single partner), but where all would be treated as equal members of the body.
An important guide for the church’s decision has been Ken Wilson, A Letter to My Congregation. I think that Wilson’s book is, overall, helpful in laying out a biblical approach to a contested question.
Part of Wilson’s own journey included coming to the conclusion that what the New Testament opposes as same-sex relations is not what contemporary homosexual Christians are trying to live into. He cites three norms of homosexual practice which, he believes, are indicative of same-sex relations in ancient Rome:
  1. Pederasty
  2. Temple Prostitution
  3. Sex with slaves
Like most evangelical Christians, I am trying to play catch-up on the issue of homosexuality in the ancient world. I am not a classicist. There is a mountain of material to sift through.
However, as I understand it (and again, I’m learning here, so feel free to offer counter evidence or other conversation in the comments) pederasty as classically understood was not practiced in ancient Rome.

Read more at http://www.jrdkirk.com/2015/04/15/pederasty-in-rome/

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