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Religion, the Body, and Sexuality 11.docx

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Religious Studies
RELG 1641
Fiona Black

History of the Body and Sexuality in Christianity  why does Christianity have such a troubled relationship with the bosy? o its hegemony- if Christianity had not been hegemonic, would the body/sexuality be so key  recall: popularity of hermit lifestyle led to desert cities which led to monasteries  difference between desert communities and monasteries  Bishop Athanasius- Life of St. Anthony- Anthony's body left behind no relics, cutting off the cult of relics- this was a benchmark, the church took control over strange practices and governed them into monasteries- took unruly expressions of Christianity and streamlined/regulated it  Church saw financial value in relics- in order to consecrate a church, it must contain a relic- church controls monetary economic system  relics fuelled the crusades o taking back Holy Land from "infidels"- also stealing relics  monastic communities offered women an escape from female norms- arranged marriages, multiple childbirths- offered spirituality and independence  recall: Bynum article- women expressing their spirituality in unique ways  St. Teresa of Avila- discalsed Carmelites o develops discourse away from the church- suggests it is exclusively for her sisters- an alternate and radical spirituality Witch Trials  1484- "The Witches Bull"- papal letter- German cleric Kramer especially concerned with witchcraft- gave him papal authority to punish witches  1487- "Malleus Maleficarum"- handbook on witches- punishments, identification  both demonized female sexuality- linked it with the devil, sinister and ungodly forces  both believed the female sex to not just be lesser, but evil, must be exterminated Protestant Reformation  1517- Martin Luther tacked 95 theses onto a Church door- critiques of everything he saw wrong with
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