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DegradationWhat the History of Obscenity Tells Us about Hate Speech$
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Kevin W. Saunders

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814741443

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814741443.001.0001

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(p.27) 3 The Arrival of Christianity

(p.27) 3 The Arrival of Christianity

(p.27) 3 The Arrival of Christianity

Kevin W. Saunders

NYU Press

This chapter examines how pornography became obscene during the Christian era. It begins with a discussion of the Christian Church's teachings on sex, and especially the general teachings from St. Paul to St. Augustine. It then considers the practice of celibacy among the Christian clergy and the Christian Church's regulation of clerical image by placing limits on sexual literature in which the clergy were actors. It also describes the place of humans in the divine/animal split, whereby sexual depictions are seen as degrading images of humanity. It shows that the arrival of Christianity changed the nature of God, created a distinction between humans and God, and eventually linked pornography with shamefulness—the hallmark of obscenity.

Keywords:   pornography, Christian Church, sex, celibacy, Christian clergy, sexual literature, Christianity, God, shamefulness, obscenity

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