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Regulating Sex in the Roman EmpireIdeology, the Bible, and the Early Christians$
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David Wheeler-Reed

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300227727

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300227727.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 25 February 2020

Then and Now

Then and Now


(p.103) Chapter Five Then and Now
Regulating Sex in the Roman Empire

David Wheeler-Reed

Yale University Press

This chapter unmasks modern forms of power that use Christianity in the service of policing modern society in the United States. It examines certain claims that marriage and procreation can save our world, and it contends that modern American sexual ethics are not “Judeo-Christian.” By analyzing discourses on marriage and sexuality as diverse as those from the Heritage Foundation, the Family Research Council, the USCCB, and the Supreme Court, it concludes that modern American sexual ethics—be they secular or Christian—are built on the principles of the Augustan marriage legislation and not on the values of early Christianity. Instead of hailing American values as “Judeo-Christian,” this chapter suggests renaming them “neo-imperial-capitalist.”

Keywords:   Obergefell v. Hodges, U.S. Supreme Court, Heritage Foundation, Judeo-Christian, Family Research Council

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