Hermeneutics of Holiness: Ancient Jewish and Christian Notions of Sexuality and Religious Community

Hardcover | September 26, 2010

byNaomi Koltun-Fromm

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This book tells the story of how the biblical notions of 'holy person' or 'holy community' comes to be defined by sexual and marriage practices by various interpretive communities in late antiquity. Koltun-Fromm argues that the biblical texts already create a link between holiness andsexuality which is further interpreted by later readers. Tracing this development from the biblical texts into the fourth century, she suggests that sexual practices among Jews and Christians, particularly ascetic sexual practices, are rooted in the history of biblical exegesis and tradition as muchas in any other late ancient phenomena. Moreover holiness as sexual practice thus helped these groups demarcate differentiation from each other. Hence this book establishes the importance of biblical interpretation for late ancient Jewish and Christian practices, the centrality of holiness as acategory for self definition, and fourth-century asceticism's relationship to biblical texts and interpretive history.

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This book tells the story of how the biblical notions of 'holy person' or 'holy community' comes to be defined by sexual and marriage practices by various interpretive communities in late antiquity. Koltun-Fromm argues that the biblical texts already create a link between holiness andsexuality which is further interpreted by later read...

Naomi Koltun-Fromm is Associate Professor of Religion at Haverford College.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:September 26, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199736480

ISBN - 13:9780199736485

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I1. In the Beginning: Holiness in the Bible2. Holy Seed or Holy Deed: Sexuality between Holiness and Purity in Second Temple LiteraturePart II3. Holiness Perfected: Pauline Constructs of Holy Community4. "Mother-City of All Evils:" Sexuality vs. Holiness in Early Syriac Christian LiteraturePart III5. Wedding Garments and Holy Yokes: Celibacy and Holiness in Aphrahat the Persian Sage6. Zipporah's Complaint: Moses is Not Conscientious in the Deed: Exegetical Traditions of Moses' Celibacy7. Sanctify Yourself: Rabbinic Notions of Holiness and SexualityConclusion