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The Burden of the Flesh Fasting and Sexuality in Early Christianity

by Teresa M. Shaw

  • ISBN: 9780800627652
  • ISBN10: 0800627652

The Burden of the Flesh Fasting and Sexuality in Early Christianity

by Teresa M. Shaw

  • List Price: $29.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Pub
  • Publish date: 04/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780800627652
  • ISBN10: 0800627652
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Description: Teresa Shaw's fascinating book explores the relationship between fasting and sexual renunciation in Christian writings of the early church. It affords a startling look at the body, ethics, diet, and sexuality in late antiquity.

Focusing on the fourth and early fifth centuries, Shaw considers three types of Christian arguments -- physiological, psychological, and eschatological -- about the efficacy of fasting in the ascetic pursuit of chastity. Demonstrating their connections also illumines relationships between body and belief, theory and behavior, and physical self-abnegation and theological speculation. In the process, Shaw examines a variety of texts from the seventh century B.C.E. to the seventh century C.E., including medical treatises, philosophical writings, Christian homilies, and theological treatises.

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