Anything from complete nakedness to casual body covering was a lifestyle component from prehistoric times through the Greco-Roman civilizations and into part of the Middle Ages. Even today, in various remote areas of the warmer climes, naked societies persist as primitive tribes whose members do not wear clothes. These societies point up, among other things, how drastically our attitudes toward nudity and social organization have changed throughout human history. Unfortunately, modern civilization's puritanical laws of decency have labeled unclothed tropical-zone cultures as offensive and inferior.
Commentary on social and moral issues of the day Judaism's Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism and then Christianity Rejected Homosexuality Dennis Prager When Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world. The Torah's prohibition of non-marital sex quite simply made the creation of Western civilization possible.
Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism and later carried forward by Christianity.
This revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that The ancient egyptian civilization essay no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriageand began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.
It is probably impossible for us, who live thousands of years after Judaism began this process, to perceive the extent to which undisciplined sex can dominate man's life and the life of society.
Throughout the ancient world, and up to the recent past in many parts of the world, sexuality infused virtually all of society. Human sexuality, especially male sexuality, is polymorphous, or utterly wild far more so than animal sexuality.
Men have had sex with women and with men; with little girls and young boys; with a single partner and in large groups; with total strangers and immediate family members; and with a variety of domesticated animals. They have achieved orgasm with inanimate objects such as leather, shoes, and other pieces of clothing, through urinating and defecating on each other interested readers can see a photograph of the former at select art museums exhibiting the works of the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe ; by dressing in women's garments; by watching other human beings being tortured; by fondling children of either sex; by listening to a woman's disembodied voice e.
There is little, animate or inanimate, that has not excited some men to orgasm. Of course, not all of these practices have been condoned by societies — parent-child incest and seducing another's man's wife have rarely been countenanced — but many have, and all illustrate what the unchanneled, or in Freudian terms, the "un-sublimated," sex drive can lead to.
De-sexualizing God and Religion Among the consequences of the unchanneled sex drive is the sexualization of everything — including religion. Unless the sex drive is appropriately harnessed not squelched — which leads to its own destructive consequenceshigher religion could not have developed.
Thus, the first thing Judaism did was to de-sexualize God: This was an utterly radical break with all other religions, and it alone changed human history. The gods of virtually all civilizations engaged in sexual relations.
In Egyptian religion, the god Osiris had sexual relations with his sister, the goddess Isis, and she conceived the god Horus. In Canaan, El, the chief god, had sex with Asherah. In Hindu belief, the god Krishna was sexually active, having had many wives and pursuing Radha; the god Samba, son of Krishna, seduced mortal women and men.
In Greek beliefs, Zeus married Hera, chased women, abducted the beautiful young male, Ganymede, and masturbated at other times; Poseidon married Amphitrite, pursued Demeter, and raped Tantalus.
In Rome, the gods sexually pursued both men and women. Given the sexual activity of the gods, it is not surprising that the religions themselves were replete with all forms of sexual activity.
In the ancient Near Fast and elsewhere, virgins were deflowered by priests prior to engaging in relations with their husbands, and sacred or ritual prostitution was almost universal.
Psychiatrist and sexual historian Norman Sussman describes the situation thus: In ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Canaan, annual ceremonial intercourse took place between the king and a priestess. Women prostitutes had intercourse with male worshippers in the sanctuaries and temples of ancient Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Corinth, Carthage, Sicily, Egypt, Libya, West Africa, and ancient and modern India.
In ancient Israel itself, there were repeated attempts to re-introduce temple prostitution, resulting in repeated Jewish wars against cultic sex.
The Bible records that the Judean king Asa "put away the qdeshim [temple male prostitutes] out of the land"; that his successor, Jehosaphat put away out of the land Until it was made illegal inwhen India gained independence, Hindu temples in many parts of India had both women and boy prostitutes.
In the fourteenth century, the Chinese found homosexual Tibetan religious rites practiced at the court of a Mongol emperor. In Sri Lanka through this century, Buddhist worship of the goddess Pattini has involved priests dressed as women, and the consort of the goddess is symbolically castrated.
Judaism placed controls on sexual activity. It could no longer dominate religion and social life.
It was to be sanctified — which in Hebrew means "separated" — from the world and placed in the home, in the bed of husband and wife. Judaism's restricting of sexual behavior was one of the essential elements that enabled society to progress. Along with ethical monotheism, the revolution begun by the Torah when it declared war on the sexual practices of the world wrought the most far-reaching changes in history.
Inventing Homosexuality The revolutionary nature of Judaism's prohibiting all forms of non-marital sex was nowhere more radical, more challenging to the prevailing assumptions of mankind, than with regard to homosexuality.
Indeed, Judaism may be said to have invented the notion of homosexuality, for in the ancient world sexuality was not divided between heterosexuality and homosexuality.
That division was the Bible's doing. Before the Bible, the world divided sexuality between penetrator active partner and penetrated passive partner.
As Martha Nussbaum, professor of philosophy at Brown University, recently wrote, the ancients were no more concerned with people's gender preference than people today are with others' eating preferences: Ancient categories of sexual experience differed considerably from our ownThe Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay of Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East (Oriental Institute Essays) First Edition.
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Power and Maintenance of Ancient Egyptian Civilization Ancient Egyptian civilization is known as one of the most significant events in history due to its lengthy existence.
W hen Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world. The Torah's prohibition of non-marital sex quite simply made the creation of Western civilization possible.
Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. SPRING undergraduate courses-updated (click urbanagricultureinitiative.com) SPRING graduate courses-updated (click urbanagricultureinitiative.com) The Classics program offers an undergraduate major and minor in both the B.A.
and B.S. degrees. Students pursuing a major or minor in Classics study Latin and/or Ancient Greek, Ancient History, Mythology and Folklore, and Ancient Philosophy.
The table below presents an abbreviated geologic time scale, with times and events germane to this essay. Please refer to a complete geologic time scale when this one seems inadequate. Introduction. Atlantis is the subject of a legend about an advanced island civilization that was destroyed or lost.
Stories about Atlantis are first mentioned in Plato’s dialogues Timaeus and Critias, in which characters say it was destroyed by an earthquake or a tsunami about 9, years before the time in which Plato wrote.