Monday, 16 April 2012



"On a deep level, the preservation of the virgin bodies of Catholic women and the studied continence of Catholic clergymen echoed the cool, enclosed spaces of the Catholic basilicas. Along with the translucent marble surfaces and the shimmering golden vaults of Catholic shrines, the Catholic notion of virginity spoke of boundaries that no outsider, no heretical barbarian, would dare to breach."

Peter Brown's The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity is probably my favourite academic monograph.

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