The surprising claims of a respected historian regarding the ancient Christian church’s stance on gay marriage sparked controversy recently in advance of a new publishing of the book that originally championed the claims.
John Boswell was an openly gay, Catholic historian and professor at Yale University. A good period of his career involved advocating that the early Christian church often conducted ceremonies joining two men together in ritualistic unions.
In 1994, the year before he died, Boswell published Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, his strongest defense of this theory. The very first digital version of that bookis slated to be published at the end of August.
Perhaps because of this fact, Boswell’s work has garnered fresh attention in the media. However, his controversial work has for years shown up in discussions of homosexuality in religion, according Fordham University‘s overview of Boswell’s career. His ideas gained instant widespread recognition after they were cited by a character in the popular syndicated cartoon strip “Doonesbury.” As a result, at least four papers dropped the strip in protest, according to Slate.
JOHN OLIVER IS LIKE BUTTER!
Douglas Maln, LiveScience
The dead zone that has formed in the Gulf of Mexico this summer is smaller than predicted, but is still larger than average, spanning an area roughly the size of Connecticut. This zone, an area without oxygen and almost completely devoid of life that crops up every summer, covers 5,840 square miles (15,125 square kilometers), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In June, NOAA predicted thedead zone would be at least 20 percent larger this summer, expecting it to take up at least 7,286 square miles (18,871 square km).
Dead zones are the indirect result of nutrients, largely from fertilizer use, running off into rivers and then into bodies of water such as the gulf. Once these excess nutrients reach the ocean, they fuel algae blooms. The algae then die and decompose in a process that consumes oxygen and creates oxygen-free areas where fish and other aquatic creatures can’t survive. This zone can have serious impacts on commercial and recreational fisheries on the Gulf Coast, causing fish die-offs.