Christianity’s Contributions: Sexuality elevated (Part 1)

Our focus on how the Christian Church has benefited humanity’s culture continues with an emphasis on the elevation of sexuality from a public display to a private experience in the context of a marriage.

While some areas of a community today may have “clothing optional” areas (such as a beach), public nudity was the norm when exercising and bathing in the Roman Empire.  For the Romans, sexuality was not something  contained in the confines of the bedroom.  Fornication, adultery, group sex, pedophilia, homosexuality, and bestiality were all practiced by people in various degrees.  What’s more, sex scenes were portrayed on lamps, bowls, cups, and vases in people’s homes.

In terms of unlawful activity, all of the practices listed above were legal.  The only sexual act that was not was adultery.  However, this could only be charged to wives, not husbands, since the wife was viewed as the property of the husband.  Amazingly, to avoid the charge of adultery, wives would registered as prostitutes to avoid being declared guilty of marital infidelity and given the death penalty.

Thankfully, the biblical view of marriage and sexuality started to change Roman culture and others.  More on that in the next blog.

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