The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism

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9780226410418: The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism
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The past decade has seen homosexual scandals in the Catholic Church becoming ever more visible, and the Vatican's directives on homosexuality becoming ever more forceful, begging the question Mark Jordan tries to answer here: how can the Catholic Church be at once so homophobic and so homoerotic? His analysis is a keen and readable study of the tangled relationship between male homosexuality and modern Catholicism.

"[Jordan] has offered glimpses, anecdotal stories, and scholarly observations that are a whole greater than the sum of its parts. . . . If homosexuality is the guest that refuses to leave the table, Jordan has at least shed light on why that is and in the process made the whole issue, including a conflicted Catholic Church, a little more understandable."—Larry B. Stammer, Los Angeles Times

"[Jordan] knows how to present a case, and with apparently effortless clarity he demonstrates the church's double bind and how it affects Vatican rhetoric, the training of priests, and ecclesiastical protectiveness toward an army of closet cases. . . . [T]his book will interest readers of every faith."—Daniel Blue,
Lambda Book Report
A 2000 Lambda Literary Award Finalist

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Review:

The Silence of Sodom by Mark D. Jordan, a professor of theology at Emory University, is a smart, graceful, important book about homosexuality and modern Catholicism. It transcends discussion of sexual identity and contends that theology cannot, fundamentally, be argued--it must be lived. "Serious moral theology cannot be principally the framing and manipulation of quasi-legal propositions. It must begin and end in the discovery of particular lives under grace." Consequently, Jordan writes, "lesbian and gay lives will have to become audible to the church, readable within it, before their graces can be discerned and described." The way for gay lives to become audible in the church, Jordan argues, is to demonstrate an intimate relationship between "'homosexuality' and holiness--that is, human fullness." To demonstrate that relationship, gay people must rethink their notions of identity by questioning the descriptive power of terms such as gay and homosexual, and perhaps even abandoning such terms.

Gay Catholics, Jordan says, "should feel contrition for having pretended to have a sexual identity, when what we had were desires, memories, and loves. To be good homosexuals is, for Catholic men, to conspire with our old persecutors in a sin against ourselves. The homosexual is only the sodomite in approved drag." Abstruse jargon, sloppy thinking, and excessive pride are common pitfalls for writers who address simultaneously the subjects of Christianity and homosexuality. Jordan avoids all of these dangers. In plain language, with humility, he gently insists that readers join him in learning how to talk about sexuality and physical pleasure in a way that amounts to talking about Christian love. --Michael Joseph Gross

From the Inside Flap:

A 2000 Lambda Literary Award Finalist
"What Jordan accomplishes is nothing less than brilliant. . . *"

The past decade has seen homosexual scandals in the Catholic Church becoming ever more visible as the Vatican's directives on homosexuality become ever more forceful, begging the question Mark D. Jordan tries to answer here: how can the Catholic Church be at once so homophobic and so homoerotic? His analysis is a keen and readable study of the tangled relationship between male homosexuality and modern Catholicism.

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Jordan, Mark D.
Published by University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL (2000)
ISBN 10: 0226410412 ISBN 13: 9780226410418
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Book Description University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition 2000, first printing, number line starts with 1. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book no edgewear. DJ new, bright and shiny, no tears no chips no edgewear, Price Not clipped. 8vo, 342 pages. No markings of any kind, no names no underlinings no highlights no bent pages. Not a reminder. Seller Inventory # 005195

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Book Description University of Chicago Press, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0226410412

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Book Description University of Chicago Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110226410412

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Sexual scandals in the Roman Catholic Church have been highly public in recent years, and increasingly shrill directives from the Vatican about homosexuality have become commonplace. The visibility of these issues begs the question of how the Catholic Church can be at once so homophobic and so homoerotic. Mark D. Jordan, the authors of the award-winning The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology , takes up this fundamental question in a deeply learned yet readable study of the relationship between male homosexuality and Catholicism. The Silence of Sodom is devoted, first, to teasing out the Church s complex bureaucratic language about sexual morality. Rather than trying to point out that official Catholic documents are simply wrong in their discussions and directives regarding homosexuality, Jordan examines the rhetorical devices used by the Church throughout its history to actively produce silence around the topic of male homosexuality. Arguing that we cannot find the Church s knowledge of homosexuality in its documents, Jordan looks to the unspoken but widely known features of clerical culture to illuminate the striking analogies between clerical institutions and contemporary gay culture, particularly in the mechanisms of discipline, the training of seminarians and the ambiguities of liturgical celebration. The Catholic Church s long experiment with masculine desire cannot be discovered through sensationalist trials of priest-paedophiles or surveys of gay clergy. The Silence of Sodom looks deeply into the intertwining, in words and deeds, of Catholicism with homoeroticism; it is a profound reflection on both being gay and being Catholic . Seller Inventory # BTE9780226410418

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