Brother-making in late-Antiquity and Byzantium : monks, laymen, and Christian ritual / Claudia Rapp.
- New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 
- Onassis series in Hellenic culture.
Onassis series in Hellenic culture
viii, 349 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
- Monastic and religious life -- Byzantine Empire.
Byzantine Empire -- Church history.
Rites and ceremonies -- Byzantine Empire.
Homosexuality -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
Blood brotherhood -- Byzantine Empire.
Monastic and religious life.
Rites and ceremonies.
- Church history.
- "Among medieval Christian societies, Byzantium is unique in preserving the text of a church ritual for 'brother-making' (adelphopoiesis), in which two adult men are pronounced by the prayers of a priest to be 'brothers.' They are expected to remain on friendly terms, and have access to one another's households as quasi-family members. Both the ritual and its application are well attested from the late eighth century to the 15th century and beyond. This phenomenon was at the center of John Boswell's highly controversial and publicized book Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe (1994). Although most critics dismissed Boswell's claims that these 'unions' represented church-sanctioned homosexual marriages, his book introduced readers to a poorly-understood Byzantine institution. Claudia Rapp's project will be the first ever book-length study of the ritual brotherhood in medieval Byzantium. Her main objective is to contextualize the tradition in other kinship relationships of Byzantine society and to trace its origins back to early Byzantine monasticism. Rapp will draw on new material on the structure of the ritual and its appearance in the manuscripts to show its proximity to rituals of Christian initiation, such as baptism and entry into the monastic life. She will also consider parallels to male-male relationships in pagan antiquity. Her book will make a timely contribution to an ongoing debate which has lost some of the heat since the aftermath of Boswell's book, but which remains of intrinsic interest to medieval studies, church history and the evolution of social institutions"--Provided by publisher.
- 1. Social structures
A. Brotherhood language
B. Kinship and the family
C. Other forms of brotherhood and the significance of oaths
D. Friendship and Christianity
E. Homosociability in Byzantium
2. The ritual of adelphopoiesis
A. Ritual practice: a present-day blessing among pilgrims to Jerusalem
B. The manuscript evidence in Byzantium prayer books (Euchologia)
C. The ritual of Adelphopoiesis as evidence for its social context
D. The prayers: history and purpose
3. The origins: small-group monasticism in late Antiquity
A. Monastic beginnings
B. Small monastic groups and paired monks in documents
C. Small groups of monks in the monastic literature
D. Temptations and challenges
E. Sharing spiritual capital and the same tomb
F. Case study: Symeon the Fool and John and other examples from hagiography
G. Byzantine continuations of small-group monasticism
4. The social practice of brother-making in Byzantium
A. Seventh-century transitions
B. Spiritual brotherhood beyond the monastery
C. Case study: Emperor Basil I and John, the son of Danelis
D. Brother-making in practice: middle and high society
5. Prescriptions and restrictions in Byzantium
A. Rules and regulations
B. Case study: Demetrios Chomatenos, legal expert and bishop in 13th-century Epiros
6. Beyond Byzantium
A. Case study: Kapetan Michalis and Nuri Bey
Appendix 1. Table of manuscripts
Appendix 2. Table of prayers
Appendix 3. Prayers in translation.
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 303-334) and index.
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