2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Paul and Homosexuality
Philip J. Schaefer
Dr. Mark Appold, Faculty Mentor

This presentation will take a critical look at the concept of homosexuality as understood by the apostle Paul. By explicating specific passages (primarily Romans 1:26-27), contextualizing Paul both culturally and theologically, and looking through a historical-critical lens, I will attempt to explain how there is inconclusive evidence in the New Testament as to Paul's full moral persuasion. Indeed, I will provide an analytical viewpoint that suggests Paul, as a part of the Greco-Roman culture, was unaware of the homosexual relationship status as it is identified today. Paul's understanding of homoeroticism is uncertain and must be placed against his Jewish background. While pederasty was certainly one form of homosexual practice, a fuller contextualization of Paul's theology cannot give conclusive evidence that this was the only form known to him. I will illuminate how Paul's repulsion of homosexuality is more reactional to a larger problem: idolatry.

Keywords: homosexuality, Paul, Romans 1:26-27, Greco-Roman culture, New Testament, pedarasty, contextualization

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 23-3
Location: VH 1212
Time: 10:15

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