Classical scholar Peter Brown has published in the New York Review of Books an excited review of Kyle Harper’s From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity (Harvard University Press). The book, which is said to break new ground in the scholarship of ancient Rome, shows that the vaunted sexual permissiveness of ancient Rome was inextricably linked to the practice of slavery, with slave boys and girls being the primary sex objects who could not object to how they were used. He also shows how the early Church, which decisively challenged and successfully changed this brutal and hypersexualized culture, connected sexual morality with freedom.
After the jump, an excerpt from the review with a link to the book. Question: Could Christianity transform sexual morality once again? [Read more...]