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Hermeneutics of HolinessAncient Jewish and Christian Notions of Sexuality and Religious Community$
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Naomi Koltun-Fromm

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199736485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199736485.001.0001

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(p.239) Conclusions
Hermeneutics of Holiness

Naomi Koltun-Fromm (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This book set out to demonstrate how sexuality became central to Jewish and Christian notions of holiness and holy community in the postbiblical period. In particular, this study was motivated to determine why sexuality, especially sexual restraint, became a primary demarcation of sacred community boundaries among Jews and Christians in fourth-century Persian-Mesopotamia. To accomplish this task, the book focused on the exegetical underpinnings that link holiness to sexuality in these communities’ emerging hermeneutics of holiness and sexuality. In the fourth-century Mesopotamian context, ascetic practitioners found biblical textual support as compelling as any other outside cultural norm. Sexual asceticism thus finds its rightful place in the formative periods of both religious traditions through the lens of comparative biblical exegesis, social constructs, and the study of the theological developments of the Hebrew biblical notions of holiness.

Keywords:   Jews, Christians, holiness, holy community, sexuality, Persian-Mesopotamia, asceticism, biblical exegesis

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