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Table of contents
PREFACE
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.1
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.2
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.3
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.4
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.4
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.6
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.7
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.8
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.9
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.10
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.11
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.4
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.1
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.2
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.3
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.1
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.2
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.3
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.5
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.6
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.1
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.2
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.3
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.4
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.5
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.6
PROSTITUTION-7.1
PROSTITUTION-7.2
PROSTITUTION-7.3
PROSTITUTION-7.4
PROSTITUTION-7.5
PROSTITUTION-7.6
PROSTITUTION-7.7
PROSTITUTION-7.8
PROSTITUTION-7.9
PROSTITUTION-7.10
PROSTITUTION-7.11
PROSTITUTION-7.12
PROSTITUTION-7.13
PROSTITUTION-7.14
PROSTITUTION-7.15
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2

eloquence. At length the bridegroom, overcome by her sweet words, 

felt that eternal life had shone before him like a great light, 

and declared that if she wished to abstain from carnal desires he 

was of the same mind. She was grateful, and with clasped hands 

they fell asleep. For many years they thus lived together, 

chastely sharing the same bed. At length she died and was buried, 

her lover restoring her immaculate to the hands of Christ. Soon 

afterwards he died also, and was placed in a separate tomb. Then 

a miracle happened which made manifest the magnitude of this 

chaste love, for the two bodies were found mysteriously placed 

together. To this day, Gregory concludes (writing in the sixth 

century), the people of the place call them "The Two Lovers." 

 

Although Renan (_Marc-Aurele_, Ch. XV) briefly called attention 

to the existence of this copious early Christian literature 

setting forth the romance of chastity, it seems as yet to have 

received little or no study. It is, however, of considerable 

importance, not merely for its own sake, but on account of its 

psychological significance in making clear the nature of the 

motive forces which made chastity easy and charming to the people 

of the early Christian world, even when it involved complete 

abstinence from sexual intercourse. The early Church 

anathematized the eroticism of the Pagan world, and exorcized it 

in the most effectual way by setting up a new and more exquisite 

eroticism of its own. 

 

During the Middle Ages the primitive freshness of Christian chastity began 

to lose its charm. No more romances of chastity were written, and in 

actual life men no longer sought daring adventures in the field of 

chastity. So far as the old ideals survived at all it was in the secular 

field of chivalry. The last notable figure to emulate the achievements of 

the early Christians was Robert of Arbrissel in Normandy. 

 

Robert of Arbrissel, who founded, in the eleventh century, the 

famous and distinguished Order of Fontevrault for women, was a 

Breton. This Celtic origin is doubtless significant, for it may 

explain his unfailing ardor and gaiety, and his enthusiastic 

veneration for womanhood. Even those of his friends who 

deprecated what they considered his scandalous conduct bear 

testimony to his unfailing and cheerful temperament, his 

alertness in action, his readiness for any deed of humanity, and 

his entire freedom from severity. He attracted immense crowds of 

people of all conditions, especially women, including 

prostitutes, and his influence over women was great. Once he went 

into a brothel to warm his feet, and, incidentally, converted all 

the women there. "Who are you?" asked one of them, "I have been 

here twenty-five years and nobody has ever come here to talk 

about God." Robert's relation with his nuns at Fontevrault was 

very intimate, and he would often sleep with them. This is set 

forth precisely in letters written by friends of his, bishops and 

abbots, one of whom remarks that Robert had "discovered a new 

but fruitless form of martyrdom." A royal abbess of Fontevrault 

in the seventeenth century, pretending that the venerated founder 

of the order could not possibly have been guilty of such 

scandalous conduct, and that the letters must therefore be 

spurious, had the originals destroyed, so far as possible. The 

Bollandists, in an unscholarly and incomplete account of the 

matter (_Acta Sanctorum_, Feb. 25), adopted this view. J. von 


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