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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity
Budin, Stephanie Lynn

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008 pp. xi + 366. $90.00


Description: Stephanie Budin demonstrates that sacred prostitution, the sale of a personís body for sex in which some or all of the money earned was devoted to a deity or a temple, did not exist in the ancient world. Reconsidering the evidence from the ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman texts, and the early Christian authors, Budin shows that the majority of sources that have traditionally been understood as pertaining to sacred prostitution actually have nothing to do with this institution. The few texts that are usually invoked on this subject are, moreover, terribly misunderstood. Contrary to many current hypotheses, the creation of the myth of sacred prostitution has nothing to do with notions of accusation or the construction of a decadent, Oriental ĎOtherí. Instead, the myth has come into being as a result of more than 2,000 years of misinterpretations, false assumptions, and faulty methodology.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel

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Review by Mayer Gruber
Published 3/28/2009
Citation: Mayer Gruber, review of Stephanie Lynn Budin, The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


Review by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
Published 3/28/2009
Citation: Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, review of Stephanie Lynn Budin, The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


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