Table of contents for A history of celibacy / Elizabeth Abbott.

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Author's Note

Introduction: Considering Celibacy

Chapter 1: Divine Pagan Celibacy

Greek Myths

Athena, Artemis, and Hestia
Mythical Virgins

Greek Literature

Hippolytus Opposes Love
Lysistrata's Ultimatum

Classical Rituals

Cult of Isis
Oracle of Delphi
Special Virgins
Vestal Virgins

Pagan and Jewish Asceticism

The Influence of Greek Philosophy
The Essenes Prepare for Armageddon

Chapter 2: Early Christianity


A Tale of Two Women
Martyrdom Toughens the New Religion
The Second Coming
Hail Mary? The Progressive Virginities of the Holy Mother
Encratites and Gnostics Boycott the Womb
Give Me Chastity...but Not Yet

Unconventional Virgins

Church Mothers
Female Transvestite Monks
Bearded Female Saints

Celibacy Out in the Desert

The Desert Fathers' New Alphabet of the Heart St. Simeon's Chastity at Sixty Feet High Marrying "the True Man"

Chapter 3: Later Christianity

Celibacy and Clerics

Medieval Eastern Monasteries
Western Monasteries
Martin Luther on Nocturnal Emissions
Celibacy One, Lust Zero
To Wed or Not to Wed

Apostolic Women

Begin the Beguine
Women Out of This World
Mary Ward, Who Was "But a Woman"

Brides of Christ

Catherine of Siena
Hildegard of Bingen Frowns on Fasting
Mohawk Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Committed Sisters

Convents of Joy
Unwilling Nuns
Shotgun Celibacy
An Unwilling Nun's Love Cut Short

Secular Celibates and Agape Love

The Shakers
Father Divine

Chapter 4: Other Major Religions and Rites


Shiva, Erotic and Celibate God
Celibacy in Stages
Modern Celibacy in Sannyasi Orders
The Daughters of Brahma


Buddha and His Precepts
Men and Women of the Monasteries


Ritual Celibacy

Celibacy Charms Shamans
Virgin Priestesses of the Sun

Sex-Positive Religions: Judaism and Islam


Chapter 5: Celibacy to Conserve Semen

Totus Homo Semen Est

Conserving the Vital Life Force
Davy Crockett and the Male Purity Movement
John Harvey Kellogg's Diet to Cure Sex

The Power of Semen in Sports

The Greeks Train Sound Minds in Chaste Bodies
The Victorians Exercise Muscular Christianity
The Cherokees Play Ball
Today's Chaste Athletes
Indian Wrestlers

Brahmacharya and the Power of Semen

Celibate Selflessness
Gandhi's Women
Semen as Patriotic Elixir

Chapter 6: Female Celibacy Transcends Gender

Cross-Dressing for Military Success

Joan of Arc
A Crow Nation Gender-Bender
Amazons of Old Dahomey

Defying the Natural Order

Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen
Florence Nightingale

Chastity with an Agenda

British Spinsters Strike against Sex
Spinsters United
Sexology versus "the Stinging Weapon of Death"

Chapter 7: Celibacy as Womanly Duty

Celibacy as a Guarantee for Marriage

Chaste Brides Guarantee Paternity
Virgins and Disgraced Maidens
Testing for Maidenheads
Exceptional Aztec and Enga Virgin Bachelors

That Pesky Double Standard

Harlots for Hire
Outraged Women Demand Chaste Men
A Five-Pound Virgin Tips the Scales of Justice
White Women, Black Men

Aids to Chastity

Chastity Belts
Female Genital Mutilation
Bound Feet

Chapter 8: Abstaining in a Good Cause

No Loving, No Baby

Postpartum Abstinence

Granny Time Ends Sex

Voluntary Motherhood

Chapter 9: Coerced Celibacy

Involuntary Celibacy

Doing Celibate Time
Vestal Virgins of St. Petersburg
Celibacy in Mao's Cultural Revolution
Celibacy in a Crowded Marriage
Celibate Victims of Skewed Gender Ratios

Widowed Celibacy

Chaste Hindu Widowhood
Suttee as the Ultimate Chastity Belt

Castrated Celibacy

Eunuchs in Greek Mythology
Chinese Eunuchism as a Career Opportunity
Byzantine Eunuch Paradise
Black African Eunuchs of the Ottoman Empire
The Hijras of India
The Castrati of the Opera
Castration to Punish Offenders

Chapter 10: Celibacy to Repress Unconventional or Sorrowful Sexuality

Leonardo da Vinci Avoids Prison

Lewis Carroll Allays Suspicion

John Ruskin Shuns Repellent Sex

Sir Isaac Newton Mends a Broken Heart

Boston Marriages Celebrate Romantic Friendship

Chapter 11: Impotent Celibacy

Unwelcome Celibacy

Limp as Yesterday's Lettuce
Testing for Impotence in Prerevolutionary France
Celibacy in Response to Vaginismus
You Can Be Too Thin: Anorexic Celibacy

Chapter 12: Celibacy in Literature

Courtly, Ennobling, and Unrequited Love

Milton and the Chaste Lady

Pamela, Shamela

Tolstoy's Kreutzer Sonata

Judith Shakespeare

Garp's Mother

Vampire Celibacy, Medium Rare

Chapter 13: The New Celibacy

Shrinking Cloisters

Vatican Decrees Celibacy a Brilliant Jewel
Misogynous Exceptions to the Papal Rule of Celibacy
Catholic Priests Vote with Their Feet
The Third Way of Sophistry and Cheating
Divorce à la Catholic Church
The Bleeding
New Age Monasticism
Celibacy as an Undivided Heart

The Power Virgins

True Love Waits
Young People's Movement
Reborn Chastity
Lesbian Celibacy versus Lesbian "Bed Death"

Celibacy in the Age of AIDS

Sex and AIDS
Celibacy and AIDS





Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Celibacy -- History.