The Sex Lives of Saints
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Hagiography and the History of Sexuality
CH. 1. FANCYING HERMITS: SUBLIMATION AND THE ARTS OF ROMANCE
The Queer Life of Paul the Hermit
The Queer Marriage of Malchus the Monk
Hilarion's Last Laugh
Prolongations: Fantasies of a Faun
Reading (as) Another, Woman
CH. 2. DYING FOR A LIFE: MARTYRDOM, MASOCHISM, AND FEMALE (AUTO)BIOGRAPHY
Praising Paula
Remembering Macrina
Confessing Monica
Testimony to (Woman's) Survival
Fragments of an Autobiography
CH. 3. HYBRID DESIRE: EMPIRE, SADISM, AND THE SOLDIER SAINT
Domination and Submission in the Life of Martin
Sulpicius's Passion
The Hagiographer, the Ethnographer, and the Native
Witnessing Ambivalence
CH. 4. SECRETS OF SEDUCTION: THE LIVES OF HOLY HARLOTS
The Lamb, the Wolf, and the Fool: Mary, Niece of Abraham
Seduction of the Eye: Pelagia of Antioch
Sacrifice in the Desert: Mary of Egypt
The Joy of Harlotry
Postscript (Catching My Breath)
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments

Promotional Information

Virginia Burrus argues that the early accounts of the lives of saints are not anti-erotic but rather convey a sublimely transgressive "counter-eroticism" that resists the marital, procreative ethic of sexuality found in other strands of Christian tradition.

About the Author

Virginia Burrus is the Bishop W. Earl Ledden Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. She is author of Ancient Christian Ecopoetics and Saving Shame: Martyrs, Saints, and Other Abject Subjects, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Reviews

"A dazzling series of readings of early Christian hagiographies that will, by turns, delight, confound, illuminate, and challenge diverse historians, theologians, and theorists."--Church History "Brilliant and important... From page one she challenges approaches to hagiography that dismiss ascetic desire as the sublimation of sexuality and a pathological hatred of the body."--Theological Studies "This fine book detects a vibrant eroticism in tales of fourth- and fifth-century saints. Rather than read ancient saints' lives as anti-erotic, or, worse, an-erotic, Burrus reveals a flourishing ars erotica."--Journal of Religion "Burrus's interweaving of ancient and modern voices is as meditative as it is analytical, but the overall effect is to induce the reader into an alternative view of what constitutes the allure of the saintly life... After The Sex Lives of Saints hagiography will never be the same."--Journal of Early Christian Studies

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