Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type

Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

History

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Thesis Advisor

Dr. Gregory D. Bell

Committee Member

Dr. O. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight

Committee Member

Dr. Jennifer L. Disney

Abstract

Homosexuality has been a topic of recent controversial religious discourse, not only in America, but also world-wide. This begs the question: when did homosexuality become such a divisive issue in religious circles? The purpose of this thesis is to examine how ancient western cultures perceived homosexuality and treated homosexuals. Starting with the pagan civilizations of Greece and Rome, and then looking at how homosexuality was perceived in the ancient Judaic world and into the early Christian community, it seems that homosexuality only gradually became stigmatized as early Christians sought to distinguish themselves as unique in the ancient world.

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