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.