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Author Topic: Sergius and Bacchus --brotherhood or gay marriage?  (Read 4624 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 25, 2006, 10:17:24 PM »

As some of you might remember, I was asking in another thread if my name (Srdjan) is a Christian name or just some slavic name. I just read about someone who celebrates Srdjevdan on either October 7th/20th/27th. Now I've seen that it is Martyr Srdja, which means it is most likely from the Battle of Kosovo. Now to the point, can anyone see what that saint day is translated into english???

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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2006, 10:31:45 PM »

Nevermind....I found it...St Sergius, not only am I named after a saint, but I'm also a Martyr Smiley

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Saint Sergius was then taken to Resapha in Syria, where he was tortured and beheaded. His tomb in Resapha became a very famous shrine, to which pilgrims came from as far away as Western Europe; Resapha was later renamed Sergiopolis in his honour.
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2006, 10:40:18 PM »

Ok...now I'm reading that Sergius and Bacchus were gay and got married..with Jesus as best man, anyone have anything about this that may point otherwise because all the sites I've read it off of seem to be...umm biased?

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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2006, 10:45:41 PM »

Did they live in Massachusetts?
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2006, 11:40:50 PM »

Ok...now I'm reading that Sergius and Bacchus were gay and got married..with Jesus as best man, anyone have anything about this that may point otherwise because all the sites I've read it off of seem to be...umm biased?

Well, off the cuff, I don't know anything about Sergius and Bacchus in particular, but the Icon you posted looks like it is depecting the Byzantine rite of adelphopoiia, lit. "brother-making." This was a rite that became somewhat popular in the 12th through 16th centuries in most Byzantine-influenced Churches throughout the Balkans and in the Byzantine-influenced areas of Italy.

Lots of modern scholars like to make much of the fact that "brother-making" = gay marriage, but this seems little more than a serious case of projection, considering the actual text of the rite and Balkan ideas of "brotherhood." It all makes a lot of heterosexual sense within the context of Balkan blood-feuds and Byzantine penchants for blessing everything.

You can read more about adelphopoiia here (Robert Wilken does charitably deconstructs a Yalie's take on the whole matter):

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/bosrev-wilken.html
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2006, 10:53:58 AM »

Ok...now I'm reading that Sergius and Bacchus were gay and got married..with Jesus as best man, anyone have anything about this that may point otherwise because all the sites I've read it off of seem to be...umm biased?

Well, the "Jesus as best man" is new to me, but alot of this came from a book by John Boswell that, as has been said, reads alot into the history. 

I've seen some things similar for women pairs of saints. 

Ebor
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2006, 12:38:44 PM »

Does any friendship and brotherhood between two men have to end up or be in nature homosexual ?
It makes a homosexual projection on however believers in such stupidity, like the author of the book, who cannot comprehend any relation between two men without sex in it.

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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2006, 12:52:43 PM »

Sounds like it says more about the author of the book than anything else.
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2006, 01:09:56 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I met John Boswell, many years ago when I was a Franciscan and our Provience had a ministry to the "gay" community. I've read both his books and he's blindly grabing for anything to prove that the early church was accepting of homosexuals and their "marrying".  In this day and age when you think scholarship amounts for anything, its just the opposite.  When you have historians believing the gnostic gospels were proof of the early church being accepting of diverse beliefs, then anything is possible.
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2006, 04:50:12 PM »

Does any friendship and brotherhood between two men have to end up or be in nature homosexual ?
It makes a homosexual projection on however believers in such stupidity, like the author of the book, who cannot comprehend any relation between two men without sex in it.

I read a bit a while back that the idea of "Friendship" is somehow being blurred or lost.  I recommend C. S. Lewis' "The Four Loves" that has a section on friendship.  One bit I remember (I need to dig it out) is about friends not looking at *each other* but together at something that is of common interest.

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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2006, 04:54:34 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I met John Boswell, many years ago when I was a Franciscan and our Provience had a ministry to the "gay" community. I've read both his books and he's blindly grabing for anything to prove that the early church was accepting of homosexuals and their "marrying".ÂÂ  In this day and age when you think scholarship amounts for anything, its just the opposite.ÂÂ  When you have historians believing the gnostic gospels were proof of the early church being accepting of diverse beliefs, then anything is possible.

Well, I would not say that ALL historians and scholars are like that. There are still some who look at the material and deal with it on its terms and not their own.  Smiley

From what I remember from the books (we have them both on the shelves *somewhere* for reference and all) you are correct that Boswell was trying to show how warm and affirming and accepting and all that early Christianity was of homosexuality.  I read that Boswell was a convert to RC and remained so to his death (1994).  He wanted his Church to somehow fit his ideas, maybe.

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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2006, 08:15:08 PM »

Boswell was homosexual, right? if he was, that would explain a lot... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2006, 08:34:32 AM »

Yes, John Boswell was a homosexual.  It was the same with Fr. McNally, I thought it was interesting that a heterosexual priest would comes out favorable to homosexuals, later I found out he was homosexual, which made his book and those of Boswell nothing more than "apologies" for homosexuality.
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2006, 05:54:38 PM »

I read a bit a while back that the idea of "Friendship" is somehow being blurred or lost.ÂÂ  I recommend C. S. Lewis' "The Four Loves" that has a section on friendship.ÂÂ  One bit I remember (I need to dig it out) is about friends not looking at *each other* but together at something that is of common interest.

Ebor

Not to nitpick but I was not particularly happy with his assessment of "Friendship" love.  I really don't think it defines too well.  In fact, that's the whole problem.  He's trying to solidify a definition, and I think he goes too far. 

Sorry for straying from the topic. 

As for the topic:  I think its actually very cool how the relationship between these two men as brothers was magnified by the presence of Christ.  Look at the icon, the brothers are HUGE in there, but Christ is very small.  Hence, he is magnifying them as brothers.  Just a thought...
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2006, 11:39:57 PM »

Not to nitpick but I was not particularly happy with his assessment of "Friendship" love.ÂÂ  I really don't think it defines too well.ÂÂ  In fact, that's the whole problem.ÂÂ  He's trying to solidify a definition, and I think he goes too far.ÂÂ  

I wonder whether "friendship" is different depending on culture.  Lewis' ideas on it follow along with his relating to his friends like the Inklings, for example.

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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2006, 09:37:27 AM »

I'm not sure who the Inklings are....clarification would be good.  Wasn't there a thread about Lewis and his books?  Maybe we can take this there, cuz I have some more things to say about it but no time right now...

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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2006, 10:33:05 AM »

The Inklings were a group of friends that met during the 30's and 40's to discuss what they were writing, read their latest aloud or just have conversation.  The three most famous were J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and Charles Williams.

Here is a link to a Mythopoeic Society overview page on them:

http://www.mythsoc.org/inklings.html#others

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« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2006, 01:27:50 PM »

Thanks for the link! 

What about Sergius and Bachus though.... Wink
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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2006, 01:58:16 PM »

Well, off the cuff, I don't know anything about Sergius and Bacchus in particular, but the Icon you posted looks like it is depecting the Byzantine rite of adelphopoiia, lit. "brother-making." This was a rite that became somewhat popular in the 12th through 16th centuries in most Byzantine-influenced Churches throughout the Balkans and in the Byzantine-influenced areas of Italy.

Lots of modern scholars like to make much of the fact that "brother-making" = gay marriage, but this seems little more than a serious case of projection, considering the actual text of the rite and Balkan ideas of "brotherhood." It all makes a lot of heterosexual sense within the context of Balkan blood-feuds and Byzantine penchants for blessing everything.

You can read more about adelphopoiia here (Robert Wilken does charitably deconstructs a Yalie's take on the whole matter):

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/bosrev-wilken.html

While I cannot speak to the specific case of Sergius and Bacchus, I can say that the rite of adelphopoiia was eventually forbidden because it would serve as a pretense for sexual relations, homosexual and heterosexual. I believe these concerns, or at the very least the latter, are mentioned in the Imperial Edict that eventually put an end to it, though I dont have access to the text at this time to be certain.
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2006, 11:08:22 AM »

Interesting.  If you should ever come across the text again, could you post info about it, please?

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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2006, 11:16:32 AM »

Interesting.ÂÂ  If you should ever come across the text again, could you post info about it, please?

Ebor

I also would appreciate the text of the imperial edict.

While researching this issue I came across 2 different forms of the rite, and I would like to read the edict to complete this academic circle.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/2rites.html
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2006, 12:13:33 PM »

I also would appreciate the text of the imperial edict.

GiC, does St. Nikodemos mention the exact name of the edict in the Pedalion? Regardless, I wonder if the text is legitimate, since there is good manuscript evidence (for what it's worth) that the rite of adelphopoiia continued for at least 100 years after Constantinople's fall, implying either a) the edict was simply ignored or b) the edict was never issued.

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While researching this issue I came across 2 different forms of the rite, and I would like to read the edict to complete this academic circle.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/2rites.html

Nice summary. I found Boswell's translation very interesting. Actually, without even contesting the parts of the translation that clearly favor the more pro-gay argument, it seems the meaning of the prayer itself is rather obviously spiritual (as opposed to marital or even sexual). The text maintains a sharp contrast between relationships "of nature" (physeis, i.e. kind, sort, sex, even sexuality), and relationships of a spiritual (pneumatikos) sort. Of course, the text says that the latter type is being instituted, in which case the two men are accounted worthy to become brothers (adelphoi genesthai), NOT to become "united together."

Of course, none of that disproves the possibility that the rite was abused, but the actual text is rather clear.

As for Zymaris' use of the so-called "Euchologion of Jacobus Goar," which, as Zymaris admits "was printed in 1647 and revised in 1730," one can, at best, withhold judgment because of the uncertain authority of the text. What manuscript tradition does Jacobus Goar represent? I don't have Boswell's work here at home, but I recall that Boswell did a rather thorough review of the manuscripts. Is Jacobus Goar's collection included, and, if so, why didn't Boswell consider it authoritative enough to use as the basis for his translation? Furthermore, does Zymaris have access to an original printing? Or is he using the revised version, or the facsimile of the revised version, published in Graz, Austria in 1960?

It seems rather strange, doesn't it, that Zymaris would use a (corrupt?) text and apply an interpretation to that text that makes even Boswell's main argument in Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality seem too limited and conservative? I think we can write Zymaris off as a truly "independent" scholar (i.e. one with whom no one, even self-proclaimed revisionists, agree).
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2006, 12:36:49 PM »

GiC, does St. Nikodemos mention the exact name of the edict in the Pedalion? Regardless, I wonder if the text is legitimate, since there is good manuscript evidence (for what it's worth) that the rite of adelphopoiia continued for at least 100 years after Constantinople's fall, implying either a) the edict was simply ignored or b) the edict was never issued.

There's an excellent Byzantine (especially Legal) Collection at Sacramento State (Some Greek donated his personal collection to the university upon his death), last summer when I was down there doing some research on impediments to Marriage by degree of Relationship I came accross some interesting things about the rite of adelophopoiia, I didn't really read it in depth, since it wasn't my prupose, it was getting late, and I wasn't likely to drive the few hundred miles again in the near future to do research, so I am not going to argue this point too strongly, though I am quite certain there was a decree in the late 14th or early 15th century prohibiting the rite, now that you mention it I'm not entirely certain if the decree was patriarchal or imperial, but in either case on such an issue as this one both authorities would have carried (carry) equal weight. I would like to go browse the above mentioned collection again, hopefully I'll make it there this summer, if I do I'll try an pay closer attention to this particular subject.

As far as the text of said document, I want to say it's found in Miklosich et Müller, Acta et diplomata graeca medii aevi, though dont quote me on that and dont ask me which volume...if only my Greek was better and I could casually read such primary source materaial...oh well, perhaps some day.
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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2006, 12:58:27 PM »

There's an excellent Byzantine (especially Legal) Collection at Sacramento State (Some Greek donated his personal collection to the university upon his death)

Ah yes. The Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection (http://library.csus.edu/tsakopoulos/default.asp), which was actually started by none other than the great Byzantine/Ottoman scholar Speros Vryonis. I've wanted to visit it, you lucky (Californian) dog. I imagine the original Vryonis collection was similar to the Milton Anastos collection (now at Notre Dame: http://www.anastos.nd.edu/walking_tour_1.html). Of course, it appears that California State has actually collated, expanded, organized and added to their original collection, whereas one can hardly say the same for Notre Dame's treatment of an equally impressive inheritance. Last I was at Notre Dame, the Anastos collection was in quite a sorry (and neglected) state. Nonetheless, it was pretty cool to have 40,000 top-quality volumes on Byzantine language, history, culture, law and religion at my personal disposal. Wink
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« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2006, 03:13:29 PM »

Ah yes. The Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection (http://library.csus.edu/tsakopoulos/default.asp), which was actually started by none other than the great Byzantine/Ottoman scholar Speros Vryonis. I've wanted to visit it, you lucky (Californian) dog. I imagine the original Vryonis collection was similar to the Milton Anastos collection (now at Notre Dame: http://www.anastos.nd.edu/walking_tour_1.html). Of course, it appears that California State has actually collated, expanded, organized and added to their original collection, whereas one can hardly say the same for Notre Dame's treatment of an equally impressive inheritance. Last I was at Notre Dame, the Anastos collection was in quite a sorry (and neglected) state. Nonetheless, it was pretty cool to have 40,000 top-quality volumes on Byzantine language, history, culture, law and religion at my personal disposal. Wink

Well, it seems that you would probably enjoy the collection even more than I have, I couldn't have told you the name of the collection off the top of my head...but it is an excellent way to spend a day and I'm looking forward to making my way there again this summer, wonderful collection of primary and secondary sources in English, French, German, and, of course, Greek; and, yes, it is very well organized, journal subscriptions are kept up to date, and the entire collection electronically catalogued and online.
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« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2006, 01:35:10 PM »

I wonder whether "friendship" is different depending on culture.  Lewis' ideas on it follow along with his relating to his friends like the Inklings, for example.

Ebor
Lewis also comes from an Anglo (english) culture. Such cultures tend to be more individualistic/objectivist in the evaluation of other people and relationships. Had he come form a more collectivist culture with a strong sense of personalism, his evaluation may have been different.
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« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2006, 07:06:49 PM »

Lewis also comes from an Anglo (english) culture. Such cultures tend to be more individualistic/objectivist in the evaluation of other people and relationships. Had he come form a more collectivist culture with a strong sense of personalism, his evaluation may have been different.

Lewis was Anglo-Irish for reference sake.  Would you please explain/define what you mean by "collectivist culture" and "strong sense of personalism"?  Thank you.

The point that Lewis was trying to make at least in part is that people can be *friends* without the least bit of eros or lust involved.  I must try to find the quote from him about the idea that any friendship between persons of the same sex must have some trait of being homosexual.

Ebor
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« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2006, 07:38:45 PM »

The point that Lewis was trying to make at least in part is that people can be *friends* without the least bit of eros or lust involved. 
Actually, the idea that eros refers only to sexual love is erroneous. All friendships begin with eros, in that we become attracted to someone in particular. Say, for example, we see that someone whom we don't know holding the noble values that we aspire to- the attraction towards this and the desire to seek their friendship is eros, not agape. In Greek philosophy (as well as culture), you can't actually get to agape without passing through eros. I think this misunderstanding was a major factor in confusing the adelphopoiia rite as a "gay marriage".
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« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2006, 08:15:29 PM »

Lewis was Anglo-Irish for reference sake.  Would you please explain/define what you mean by "collectivist culture" and "strong sense of personalism"?  Thank you.

The point that Lewis was trying to make at least in part is that people can be *friends* without the least bit of eros or lust involved.  I must try to find the quote from him about the idea that any friendship between persons of the same sex must have some trait of being homosexual.

Ebor
Well, sociologists have concluded that Anglo clutures tend to be more individualistc. They emphasize the the individual at the expense of groups, families, and societies. This is clearly seen in the "rugged-individualism" of American culture. Latin, and often Catholic, cultures tend to be more collectivist in their approach to society and relationships. In collectivist cultures, people emphasize the group at the expense of the individual. Keep in mind that I am not criticizing either kind of culture; I am simply pointing out the differences. Now, Lewis's view of friendship seems to be more akin to the individualist approach of Anglo cultures. In his view, there is not a bond betweent two friends, their individualism strongly preserved,  but rather only a shared common interest, and in fact, that common interest is the very thing that makes two people friends. I would suggest that in a collectivist culture, the situation would be different. The people realize that they are attracked to one another's personality (in a non-sexual way) and there is usually a true bond developed between the two persons, not just a common interest. Rather, the common interest is the welfare of the other person.
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You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
Tags: homosexuality adelphopoiia 
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