Sex and Gender in the Reformation

REL-A 300 — Spring 2023

Constance Furey
Days and Times
TR 11:30AM - 12:45PM
Course Description

Religious views on sex and gender are surprisingly diverse. For example, Christianity preaches spiritual equality and the irrelevance of worldly status and social distinctions, but also proclaims that the differences between men and women are divinely ordained. There is a long tradition of encouraging eroticized devotion, and an equally long tradition of carefully policing sexual behavior. Women as well as men claim to speak for God in a tradition that often insists on patriarchal authority. This course will consider the intriguing diversity of Christian views about sex and gender by focusing on the time of the Reformation, when new movements challenged the spiritual value of virginity, celibacy, and marriage; when devotion was often both hetero and homoerotic; and when witchcraft accusations revealed the deadly effects of misogyny.