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Showing posts from June, 2012

Song of Songs 2:8-3:5: Separation

8The voice of my beloved! Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. 9My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. 10My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; 11for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 12The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.14O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. 15Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that ruin the vineyards— for our vineyards are in blossom.” 16My beloved is mine and I am his; he pastures his flock among the lilies. 17Until the day breathes and th…

Book Review: The Use of Pleasure

The Use of Pleasure is the second volume of Foucault's trilogy on the history of sexuality. I did not review the first volume, though I have incorporated some of its insights into my studies on Song of Songs. This volume is much more straight forward and, as it is a historical study of Greek thought on sex, is directly and obviously applicable to biblical studies.

Foucault's goal is to draw out the differences between Greek and Christian ethical thinking on the topic of sex. As Foucault demonstrates, it's not a question of degree of moral laxness or strictness. Greek sexual ethics were not so much a separate topic in ethics as they were a piece of a larger ethical question.

Foucault organizes the book primarily around four topics: the moral problematization of pleasure, dietetics, economics, and erotics (the love of boys). The first of these sections is the most important as it provides the framework that you need for the subsequent sections. Foucault's basic argument …