The Sex Lives of Saints

Virginia Burrus argues that the early accounts of the lives of saints are not anti-erotic but rather convey a sublimely transgressive "counter-eroticism" that resists the marital, procreative ethic of sexuality found in other strands of Christian tradition.

The Sex Lives of Saints
An Erotics of Ancient Hagiography

Virginia Burrus

2003 | 224 pages | Cloth $45.00 | Paper $22.50
Religion | Women's Studies/Gender Studies
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Hagiography and the History of Sexuality

CH. 1. FANCYING HERMITS: SUBLIMATION AND THE ARTS OF ROMANCE
The Queer Life of Paul the Hermit
The Queer Marriage of Malchus the Monk
Hilarion's Last Laugh
Prolongations: Fantasies of a Faun
Reading (as) Another, Woman

CH. 2. DYING FOR A LIFE: MARTYRDOM, MASOCHISM, AND FEMALE (AUTO)BIOGRAPHY
Praising Paula
Remembering Macrina
Confessing Monica
Testimony to (Woman's) Survival
Fragments of an Autobiography

CH. 3. HYBRID DESIRE: EMPIRE, SADISM, AND THE SOLDIER SAINT
Domination and Submission in the Life of Martin
Sulpicius's Passion
The Hagiographer, the Ethnographer, and the Native
Witnessing Ambivalence

CH. 4. SECRETS OF SEDUCTION: THE LIVES OF HOLY HARLOTS
The Lamb, the Wolf, and the Fool: Mary, Niece of Abraham
Seduction of the Eye: Pelagia of Antioch
Sacrifice in the Desert: Mary of Egypt
The Joy of Harlotry

Postscript (Catching My Breath)

Notes
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments