Cover image for Sacred Marriages: The Divine-Human Sexual Metaphor from Sumer to Early Christianity Edited by Martti Nissinen and Risto Uro

Sacred Marriages

The Divine-Human Sexual Metaphor from Sumer to Early Christianity

Edited by Martti Nissinen and Risto Uro

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Sacred Marriages

The Divine-Human Sexual Metaphor from Sumer to Early Christianity

Edited by Martti Nissinen and Risto Uro

The title of this volume, Sacred Marriages, consciously plays with the traditional concept of sacred marriage, but the plural form, “sacred marriages,” gives the reader an idea that something more is at stake here than a monomaniacal idea of manifestations deriving from a single prototype. Following the guidelines of one of the contributors, Ruben Zimmermann, the editors tentatively define “sacred marriage” as a “real or symbolic union of two complementary entities, imagined as gendered, in a religious context.” “Sacred marriages” (plural), then, refers to various expressions of this kind of union in different cultures that seek to overcome, to cite Zimmermann again, “the great dualism of human and cosmic existence.”

 

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  • Table of Contents
The title of this volume, Sacred Marriages, consciously plays with the traditional concept of sacred marriage, but the plural form, “sacred marriages,” gives the reader an idea that something more is at stake here than a monomaniacal idea of manifestations deriving from a single prototype. Following the guidelines of one of the contributors, Ruben Zimmermann, the editors tentatively define “sacred marriage” as a “real or symbolic union of two complementary entities, imagined as gendered, in a religious context.” “Sacred marriages” (plural), then, refers to various expressions of this kind of union in different cultures that seek to overcome, to cite Zimmermann again, “the great dualism of human and cosmic existence.”

The subtitle indicates that the contributors are primarily interested in different aspects of the divine-human sexual metaphor—that is, the imagining and reenactment of a gendered relationship between the human and divine worlds. This metaphor, which is essentially about relationship rather than sexual acts, can find textual, ritual, mythical, and social expressions in different times and places.

Indeed, the sacred marriage ritual itself should be considered not a manifestation of the “sacralized power of sexuality experienced in sexual intercourse” but one way of objectifying the divine-human sexual metaphor.

Sacred Marriages, or the Divine-Human Sexual Metaphor: Introducing the Project Martti Nissinen and Risto Uro

The Sumerian Sacred Marriage and Its Aftermath in Later Sources Pirjo Lapinkivi

Sacred Marriage and the Transfer of Divine Knowledge: Alliances between the Gods and the King in Ancient Mesopotamia Beate Pongratz-Leisten

Sacred Marriage and the Devotees of Ištar Saana Teppo

Sacred Marriage in the Ugaritic Texts? The Case of KTU/CAT 1.23 (Rituals and Myths of the Goodly Gods) Mark S. Smith

Sacred Marriage in the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt: Circumstantial Evidence for a Ritual Interpretation Mia Rikala

Hieros Gamos in Ancient Greek Religion: The Human Aspect of a Sacralized Ritual Aphrodite A. Avagianou

Song of Songs and Sacred Marriage Martti Nissinen

Yahweh’s Broken Marriages as Metaphoric Vehicle in the Hebrew Bible Prophets Peggy L. Day

The Love Triangle of Lady Wisdom: Sacred Marriage in Jewish Wisdom Literature? Ruben Zimmermann

The Sons of God and the Daughters of Men John J. Collins

The Divine-Human Marriage Matrix and Constructions of Gender and “Bodies” in the Christian Bible David M. Carr and Colleen M. Conway

Sacred Prostitution in the Biblical World? Kristel Nyberg

Begotten by the Holy Spirit Heikki Räisänen

From the Bridegroom’s Time to the Wedding of the Lamb: Nuptial Imagery in the Canonical Gospels and the Book of Revelation Kari Syreeni

The Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22–33): A Problematic Wedding Carolyn Osiek

Sex and the Single Savior Dale B. Martin

Divine Desires: Fantasy and Renunciation in the Narrative of Mark’s Gospel Petri Merenlahti

Asceticism as a Sacred Marriage: An Essay on Eastern and Western Theories Richard Valantasis

The Bridal Chamber and Other Mysteries: Ritual System and Ritual Transmission in the Valentinian Movement Risto Uro

Sacred Marriage and Spiritual Knowledge: Relations between Carnality and Salvation in the Apocryphon of John Ingvild Sælid Gilhus

Indexes

Index of Subjects

Index of Authors

Index of Scripture

Index of Ancient Sources

Ancient Mesopotamian Sources

Ugaritic Sources

Egyptian Sources

Classical Sources

Early Jewish Sources

Early Christian Sources

Qurªan

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