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Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity (Gender, Theory, and Religion)

3 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231136624
ISBN-10: 0231136625
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Editorial Reviews

Review

An original and provocative contribution to the ongoing study of rhetoric, identity, and power in the early Christian tradition.

(David M. Reis Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

Jennifer Wright Knust has written a thoughtful and well-argued book... It deserves to be read.

(Review of Biblical Literature)

I highly recommend Knust's book.

(Gene G. James, University of Memphis Dialogue & Alliance)

A careful and detailed study that deftly navigates a sizable number of early Christian texts.

(Benjamin Dunning Journal of Religion)

Review

Accusations of sexual excess or deviance are a commonplace in political invective. Abandoned to Lust shows engagingly and in detail how such accusations were a mainstay in the early-Christian rhetorical toolbox, allowing Christian polemicists to create vivid and damning portraits of their opponents as slaves to their appetites and passions. Knust's book is a very important rhetorical analysis and cultural history of early Christianity, with critical implications for the study of religiously motivated polemics more broadly.

(Elizabeth Castelli, Barnard College at Columbia University, author of Martyrdom and Memory: Early Christian Culture Making)

Abandoned to Lust is a provocative and important book. It is so not simply because it is a marvelous example of historical-interpretive research and writing―although it certainly is that. It is so because of its refusal to be just another example of a narrow antiquarian focus upon the writings and exploits of elites of an invented antiquity. Knust's work is layered, engaged, and multifocal, with (self-) critical, sensitive, disciplined and careful attention paid to our several pasts and to our present and to the different positionalities and power dynamics in them.

(Vincent L. Wimbush, Claremont Graduate University, author of African Americans and the Bible)

Jennifer Knust's study of sexual polemics in early Christianity is a groundbreaking and compelling treatment of a culturally significant and unusually intriguing topic. The analysis is superb in every way: lively, learned, theoretically informed, and insightful. Many of my colleagues in early-Christian studies will no doubt have my reaction to the book―wishing that they would have, or rather could have, written it.

(Bart Ehrman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, author of Lost Christianities: The Battles For Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew)
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Product Details

  • Series: Gender, Theory, and Religion
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (November 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231136625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231136624
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,553,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
For a book that is based on an academic dissertation, it's a surprisingly jaunty read. Despite the final edition giving around 100 pages to notes/references on the source material, I thought it was a bit lightweight and repetitive.

However it's not a bad read by any means. It's a bit like a high brow gossip magazine "Then He said she did this, and she said he liked it like this ... OOoooh. naughty senator" etc

If you like your titillation to be high brow, this is one for you!
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Format: Hardcover
The burden of proof the author sets for herself is disappointingly low.
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Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity (Gender, Theory, and Religion)
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