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RELG 1641 (19)

Religion, the Body, and Sexuality 2.docx

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Mount Allison University
Religious Studies
RELG 1641
Fiona Black

History of Sexuality  ancient near eastern religions were polytheistic, gods had gendered identities assigned to them, sexual activities of gods was directly related to natural fertility  humans were responsible for keeping the gods happy  cultic rites were used to prompt gods to sex  hierarchy around gender- women as passive, submissive; men as active, dominant  in "The Courtship of Inanna and Dumzi" Inanna gives voice to female sexual desire, instructs her lover  1800 BCE: Abraham  1200 BCE Israelites conquest Israelite Religion- the Hebrew Bible  Bible is retrospective, synthesized  covenant with God and Abraham: o go to Promised Land (Canaan) o "I will make you a great nation" -running theme of fertility, early preoccupation with heteroreproductive sexuality  Genesis 1-3 o humans as the culmination of God's creation o God speaks his creation (doesn't need to have sex to create, no battle- this is corrective of ANE religions) o "Be fruitful and multiply" -makes sense as part of the overarching covenant, told retrospectively o Adam made out of dust, Eve made out of one of Adam's ribs- speaks to relationship of man to earth, of woman to man- creating an explicit hierarchy o no commentary here on sex or the results of sex
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