Date of this Version
Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Spring/Summer 2013, Volume 14, Number 1
One of the most enduring and controversial figures in the field of history is John E. Boswell. His work on homosexuality and the history of the Christian Church was published at a key time during the Stonewall Riots in the late 1960s and the removal of homosexuality from the list of diagnostic mental disorders in the mid 1970s. This social upheaval created a dynamic that not only influenced Boswell personally but contributed to the vehement reaction to his book Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century. Written in 1980, this book has profoundly influenced theological debates in numerous Christian denominations, particularly in the United States.