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Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
An anthology of literary texts and contexts

This book is an anthology of selections from works dealing with same-sex love, desire, sexual acts, and relationships during the period 1550-1735 in early modern England. It presents religious and moral writings, pseudo-medical writings, criminal pamphlets, travel writings, and letters on same-sex desire. The condemnation of male and female same-sex sexual acts is embedded in the earliest Christian theology. The early modern medical, pseudo-medical, and anatomical texts in Latin are surprisingly reticent about the physiological and anatomical aspects of homoerotic sexuality and desire. Canon law had long condemned male same-sex sexual acts. The 1533-34 statute in England forbade male same-sex sexual acts but ignored female same-sex intercourse. English travel narratives dealing with the sexual customs of other cultures often present sexual licentiousness as endemic, sometimes touching specifically on sodomy and tribadism. The most detailed presentations of same-sex erotic relationships in non-European cultures are those relating to Turkey and the Turkish seraglio. Familiar letters, such as between James I and VI, could reveal personal secrets and be radically transgressive in their emphasis on fostering love and desire. The book discusses homo-sexual subculture during 1700-1730, translation of Latin and Greek texts, and numerous literature representing male and female same-sex erotic relationships. The largely 'socially diffused homosexuality' of the seventeenth century changed profoundly with 'clothes, gestures, language' connoting 'homosexuality'. The book shows how literary genres of male same-sex and female-sex desires such as Shakespeare's Sonnets, and Catherine Trotter's Agnes de Castro allow the modern reader to chart changes in their representation.

Simha Goldin

are ominously silent concerning the conquest of the Holy Land by Christians and the establishment of a Christian city in Jerusalem. From the viewpoint of twelfth-century Jewry, there was no point in publicizing this fact, which reinforced the powerful Christian theological claim that their victories and worldly success were proof that God had abandoned the Jewish people and now supported the Christian side. In reading Jewish sources from the twelfth century, one is hard put to find even an echo of the historical events which occurred in the Land of Israel. The

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Chari Larsson

greatest paradox of any figuration – what could the aspect congruent with a divine Word be?’ 34 To answer this question, Didi-Huberman assembles the elements of early Christian theology concerning representation that were neglected by the founders of humanist art history. For Didi-Huberman, what is important here is a ‘nonvisual thinking that is theological in nature’. 35 The panels do not fulfil a mimetic or decorative function. Nor are they performing illustrational and pedagogical roles for the illiterate congregation. Their function is to figure the unfigurable

in Didi-Huberman and the image
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Freedom of belief, freedom from belief
John Pritchard, Andrew Brown, and Emma Cohen

those rights are not woven unbidden into the fabric of the universe. Our European understanding of rights has its roots in Judaeo-Christian theology and the view that God is the giver and guarantor of the rights of every human being created in God’s image and likeness. A number of issues now come into focus. First, freedom of religion or belief is a litmus test for all human rights because it is about how we frame our lives at their most profound level. So when in Turkmenistan imams are forced to quote the ‘spiritual writings’ (so called) of the late President Niyazov

in Religion and rights
Marie Helena Loughlin

ch a pt e r 1 Religious and Moral Writings Religious and Moral Writings Introduction The condemnation of male and female same-sex sexual acts is embedded in the earliest Christian theology regarding sexuality, heterosexual marriage, and reproduction: human genitalia were created for reproduction, mirroring the creative act of God. Thus, using the genitals for anything other than reproduction was a violation of God’s intentions for the sexual and reproductive organs, of his command to Adam and Eve to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ (Gen. 1.28), and of his larger plan

in Same-Sex Desire in Early Modern England, 1550–1735
Heather Walton

this morning’s snow, as magical as the mermaid in the ship’s cabin, drowned but still alive. In the shrinking light, the ultimate defeat of evil, irrationality, and death shows itself to have been a bad dream. Immersed in negativity, we may awaken to a better one. (1994: 1–2) Knowledge of evil Sands outlines how Christian theology has sought to protect itself from knowledge of evil using two main strategies. She terms these the ‘rationalist’ and ‘dualist’ responses. The rationalist maintains faith in the supreme power and goodness of the creator and dismisses the

in Literature, theology and feminism
Language, education and the Catholic Church
Alex J. Bellamy

economics, and the Bad Blue Boys drew upon their own brand of Croatian nationalism. While it was possible to predict from the earlier chapters that the HDZ would come into conflict with liberal internationalist organisations such as George Soros’ OSI, the pattern of government narrative and liberal counter-narrative was not followed across the six areas. While overtly liberal orientations could be discerned in the studies of regionalism and education, when we looked at football and the Church counter-narratives emerged from other forms of nationalism and Christian

in The formation of Croatian national identity
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Faith, folly, and ‘The Faerie Queene’

Once a byword for Protestant sobriety and moral idealism, Spenser is now better known for his irony and elusiveness. Yet his sense of humour is still underestimated and misunderstood. Challenging the bias behind this neglect, this study shows that humour, far from being peripheral or superficial, goes to the heart of Spenser’s moral and doctrinal preoccupations. It explores rifts between The Faerie Queene’s ambitious and idealising postures and its Protestant vision of corruptible human nature. Figures to be comically ‘undone’ include the hero, the chivalric lover, the virgin, and the ideal monarch – as well as Spenser’s own epic-poet persona. Yet bathos has a positive significance in Christian theology, and Spenserian humour proves to be an expression of tolerance and faith as well as an instrument of satire. On this basis, Comic Spenser contends that the alliance of humour and allegory in The Faerie Queene affirms the value of the creative and ‘errant’ imagination.