Sexuality: When Ancient Biblical Texts and Modern Values Collide

May 19th, 2017

7:15am: Check-in, Coffee/tea
7:30-9:45am: Featured Program


Samuel Boyd, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Jewish Studies at CUHost: Robert Stuenkel

About The Presentation

The use and, perhaps more often, misuse of the Bible in modern media and politics often centers on issues of sexuality. Particularly in light of debates regarding marriage, passages from the Bible are often cited as though their meanings were self-evident and derived from cultures that resemble our own. In this talk, I will examine many of the commonly cited texts in the Bible used in debates regarding sexuality. These texts will include Genesis 18-19 (Sodom and Gomorrah), Leviticus 18 and 20, and the story of David and Jonathan. I will examine Genesis 18-19 in the history of interpretation of Judaism and Christianity to show that the point of the story is much more complicated than often assumed. I will demonstrate how this sort of historical interpretation should frame the manner in which we understand sexuality in the Bible and whether or not these texts are applicable to discussions regarding modern sexuality. It is suggested, though not necessary, to read these passages beforehand.

About the Presenter

Samuel Boyd, Ph.D. received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2014. He became a member of the CU faculty in 2015. His courses in this past year were: Introduction to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; Magic in Judaism and Christianity. Boyd’s dissertation bridged the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Divinity School (A Martin Marty Junior Fellow), and the Department of Linguistics.

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