U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION – Apparently the Chief Justice … was ignorant of or feigned ignorance of the following research and evidence of same-sex in fourth-century, medieval and premodern Europe!


“An erudite work in which … Boswell applies his scholarly acumen to a matter of daunting complexity . Beautifully written.

 The New Yorker
“Boswell is an accomplished medieval historian, oted for his work on Christianity and homosexuality. Same Sex Unions in Premodern Europe is certain to arouse more than scholarly passion s. … Most controversial.”

 Newsweek
“Boswell laudably provides the reader with transcriptions of the documents in the original Greek, along with his own English translations of them. No less laudable, he guides the reader through interpretations of this materialthat dffers from his own.”

 New Republic
“Fascinating … Professor Boswell’s book will certainly provoke a sharp debate”

 The New York Times

“The question of homosexual unions has acquired new urgency with the publication of Boswell’s latest book and is likely to fuel an ongoing debate. His findings are taken seriously not only by those likely to be pleased with his conclusions but also by detractors who say they do not underestimate his role in helping to shape the continuing debate within the churches over sexual morality.”

 Washington Post

“Boswell’s thesis will enliven thmeetings of the Medieval Academy of America for years to come.”

 Chicago Tribune

“Boswell is a brilliant historian. And by casting new light upon a neglected and misunderstood past, he helps us see a premodern world much more diverse, complex and pluralistic than our simple-minded images of it, and a world that still has much to teach those of us who think we know so much and have come so far. To reflect accurately on the past may be the most revolutionary thing a historian can do. Boswell has done this splendidly and even those who are bound to disagree with him stand with the rest of us in his debt. No discussion of the topic will now be complete without reference to Boswell’s work.

 Boston Globe

“A preeminent , Boswell’s thesis is accessible, not to say sensational.”

 Hartford Courant
John B Boswell, Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe (Vintage Books: A Division of Random House, Inc: New York), 1995

“Striking, profoundly and exciting, Boswell has taken great care to dissemble, transcribe, translate and interpret a most persuasive array of texts describing same-sex relationships in the ancient world. It is a testimony to the fairness of the book that he confronts the opposing arguments clearly, painstakingly, intelligently, cogently and respectfully. Boswell gives the reader much to ponder.”

 Los Angeles Times Book Review

“At a time when strictures against homosexuality are the subject of impassioned debate, this groundbreaking work of scholarship has generated extraordinary controversy. For in Sme-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe Yale historian John Boswell, one of our most respected authorities on the Middle Ages, produces extensive evidence that at one time the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches not only sanctioned unions between partners of the same sex but sanctioned them—in ceremonies that bear striking resemblance to heterosexual marriage ceremonies.

“Drawing on sources in a wide range of languages—and an example that range from the fourth-century legend of Saints Serge and Bacchus to the ceremonial union of the Byzantine emperors Basil I and Michael III—Boswell boldly reveals how the same tradition that looked askance at all sexuality could also encompass—and at times idealize loving partnerships between two men or women. Most impressively, he produces actual examples in which such love was formally consecrated until modern times. The result is one of those rare works of scholarship that has the power to transform the way we live now—even as it revises our understanding of the past.

“In this long-awaited study, scrupulously sifting the evidence provides a fascinating read. Same-Sex Union will unquestionably challenge a number of cherished assumptions about the nature and history of Christianity.”

 The Nation


About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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