Original Research

Sexuality and shifting paradigms – setting the scene

Yolanda Dreyer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 61, No 3 | a471 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v61i3.471 | © 2005 Yolanda Dreyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 October 2005 | Published: 12 October 2005

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Yolanda Dreyer, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The social environment of the Biblical world can be distinguished in the Eastern Mediterranean (Semitic) and the Western Mediterranean (Greco-Roman) contexts. From a historical chronological perspective these contexts first functioned separately and then later merged because of Hellenisation. In both these Mediterranean contexts sexuality, religion and marriage were intertwined, but the values attributed to them, were different. The Old Testament mostly mirrors the Eastern Mediterranean world, whereas the New Testament represents a syncretism of the values of the Eastern and Western Mediterranean worlds. In order to understand the changes in the values attributed to sexuality, religion and marriage over time – from premodern, to modern, to postmodern times – it is necessary to investigate the social dynamics in the different eras. The aim of the article is to explore the nature of the interconnections and the values attributed to sexuality, religion and marriage in Biblical times.

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