The Jesus Hermaphrodite: Science and Sex Difference in Premodern Europe

  title={The Jesus Hermaphrodite: Science and Sex Difference in Premodern Europe},
  author={Leah Devun},
  journal={Journal of the History of Ideas},
  pages={193 - 218}
  • Leah Devun
  • Published 4 April 2008
  • Art
  • Journal of the History of Ideas
This article traces the development of the hermaphrodite symbol in alchemical literature from the high Middle Ages to the early modern period. It argues that alchemical writers used themetaphor of hermaphroditism to describe the "philosophers' stone," a chemical agent believed to be a combination of contradictory elemental qualities. Such writers extended the hermaphrodite metaphor to Jesus, whome they conflated with the philosophers' stone, and whom they viewed as a combination of masculine… 
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This essay discusses recent research in the study of medieval alchemy that bears upon its relationship to Christianity in the Latin West. Much of this scholarship has emerged from a renewed
One «Both» Sex«es»: Observations, Suppositions, and Airy Speculations on Fetal Sex Anatomy in British Scientific Literature, 1794–1871
  • R. Brooks
  • Biology
    Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences
  • 2015
This article explores some key British medical and allied scientific texts, with reference to associated Continental literature, as a means of illustrating the complexity of the two-sex paradigm and the unexpected transformation of gender possibilities that it helped produce through the early and middle decades of the nineteenth century.
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It is argued that the queen's significant chymical interests contributed to her iconography, thereby bridging England's previously discrete chymic and female realms, and asserts the crucial importance of community to early modern chymists, noting courtly links and overlapping social circles.
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Heinrich Khunrath’s 1609 Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae (Amphitheatre of Eternal Wisdom) was the first published work that described itself as “Christian Kabbalist.” Khunrath was a highly
Fleshly wisdoms: image practices, bodies, and the transmission of knowledge in a sixteenth-century alchemical miscellany
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List of Illustrations Acknowledgements Introduction: Sex and Other Stories On Gods and Monsters: Defining the Early Modern Hermaphrodite Telling the Truth of Sex: The Hermaphrodite in Biology and Law
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From both feminist and poststructuralist perspectives, sexuality has increasingly come to be seen not as biological but as a cultural construction, subject to fashioning and redefinition under pressure from social forces and juridico-political power.
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The concept of the Goddess Natura - one of the most significant allegorical figures in Medieval Latin and vernacular poetry - drew upon many strands of classical and Christian thought, from Plato's
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This text explores the invention of sodomy in medieval Christendom, examining its conceptual foundations in theology and gauging its impact on Christian sexual ethics both then and now. It traces the
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Jesus as Mother and Abbot as Mother: Some Themes in Twelfth-Century Cistercian Writing
  • C. Bynum
  • Philosophy
    Harvard Theological Review
  • 1977
A number of scholars in this century have noticed the image of God or Jesus as mother in the spiritual writings of the high Middle Ages. The image has in general been seen as part of a “feminine” or