Reconstructing celibacy : sexual renunciation in the first three centuries of the early church
Carroll, Jason Scot
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2007
This thesis explores the philosophical and theological motivations for early Christian celibacy prior to the appearance of monasticism. This thesis will challenge recent scholarly positions that portray early Christian celibacy only in light of the emergence of monasticism in the fourth century, and which argue that celibacy as an ascetic practice was motivated primarily by resistance to the dominant social structures of antiquity. The practice of celibacy was a significant movement in the early church well before the appearance of monasticism or the development of Christianity as the dominant social force in the empire, and although early Christian sexual austerity was similar to the sexual ethics of Greco-Roman philosophical constructs, early Christian sexual ethics had developed in relation to uniquely Christian theological and cosmological views. Moreover, a segment of the early Christian community idealized celibacy as an expression of the transformation of human nature amidst a community that continued to remain sexually austere in general.
vi, 267 leaves ; 29 cm.
Dissertations, Academic , Celibacy -- Christianity -- History of doctrines -- Early church, ca. 30-600 , Asceticism -- History -- Early church, ca. 30-600 , Sex -- Religious aspects -- Christianity -- History of doctrines -- Early church, ca. 30-600 , Virginity -- Religious aspects -- Christianity -- History of doctrines -- Early church, ca. 30-600