Homosexuality, Intolerance, and Christianity

A Critical Examination of John Boswell’s Work

Note: This page includes text written in polytonic Greek. If you do not see all characters of the word “ἀρσενοκοίτης” displayed as Greek letters you will need to install a suitable font to be able to view the Greek text correctly.

Ex Parte Themis: The Historical Guilt of the Christian Church

by Warren Johansson

The publication of John Boswell’s Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality is an event of the first magnitude in the study of this subject. It is the pioneering effort of an academic medievalist to investigate the phenomenon of homosexuality in the Christendom of the Middle Ages, and in undertaking it Boswell has laid his professional career on the line. The American academic world has its own techniques of censorship and control, which are as all-pervading and effective as those employed in any totalitarian country. Hence the work merits praise for the courage which the author — an assistant professor of history at Yale University — has shown, and it can only be hoped that others will now be emboldened to follow him into this long-tabooed domain of historical research.

Furthermore, it must be stressed that the author has composed the book on the basis of his personal reading and investigation, from the first page to the very last: he is not a fraud and a parasite passing off the labor and learning of others as his own. Nor is the volume to be classed with Canon Derrick Sherwin Bailey’s Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition, which may be fairly characterized as the all-time high-water mark for complete, grotesque, and well-nigh invincible ignorance of the subject, joined with the singular thesis that the ungrateful invert has compounded his monstrous crimes against Nature by wronging the innocent Church.

The range of topics discussed within the volume is enormous: it covers the entire period from the beginning of the Christian era down to the end of the thirteenth century, and an entire academic conference could be held just to debate the positions expounded in its eleven chapters and two appendices. However future generations of scholars may appraise the author’s findings, his book has established the framework within which investigation and controversy will be conducted for many years to come.

The work presents three findings that are to my mind incontrovertible and can only be confirmed by subsequent research:

  1. There is a body of homosexual literature from the central period of the Middle Ages in Latin Christendom, deriving from and inspired by the pederastic heritage of Greco-Roman antiquity. This finding is all the more significant as it shows once again that if the gay movement has a glorious, a heroic, an aristocratic tradition, it owes this almost entirely to the socially recognized and institutionalized pederasty of the ancient and medieval world; and for the self-styled “leaders” of the modern homophile movement to lay claim to that tradition for their own apologetic ends, while excoriating the boy-lover of today as a criminal and a monster, is the height of cowardice and hypocrisy, and an action that makes them unworthy of credence or respect.

  2. There was a long period of relative toleration, from the barbarian invasions down to the second half of the thirteenth century.

  3. The period of greatest intolerance is the Late Medieval and post-Medieval. This finding agrees perfectly with my own analysis of the chronology of what I have termed the “sodomy delusion”. It began to form within Zoroastrianism and Biblical Judaism in Mid-antiquity, and was fully defined by the year 1280 — the death of Albertus Magnus. The period 1281-1763 saw the heyday of the delusional system, when its primary rationalizations went unchallenged in the theological schools and law courts of Europe. Then, beginning with the publication of Beccaria’s Dei delitti e delle pene in 1764, the delusion gradually waned, but was also bolstered and perpetuated by the secondary rationalizations that conservative thinkers mustered in its defense.

Thus Boswell’s book covers the epoch of the genesis of the sodomy delusion, and properly ends with the close of the thirteenth century.

On the negative side, the work has three major faults that can only be further exposed by future historical investigation:

  1. The anachronism of the author’s approach to his subject is ubiquitous and grotesque, and runs contrary to the demand that should be made of the professional historian, that he project himself into the milieu and the mentality of another time and place, that he should — if only for a moment of revelation — see and feel what others did and experienced long ago and far away. It is not just the almost obsessive use of the terms “gay” and “gay people” that sustains this anachronism, it is the whole cast of mind which the narrative betrays.

  2. The author fails consistently and repeatedly to conceptualize either the major or the minor problems posed by the texts and documents on which his work is based. Even though he uses “gay” to denote “persons who are conscious of erotic inclinations toward their own gender”, he gives no psychological dimension to his study: the great depth psychologists of the twentieth century might as well never have lived, for all the attention that Boswell devotes to the unconscious motives of his characters.

  3. The author strives in every possible way to exonerate the Christian Church from the responsibility which it bears for the systematic intolerance that has been inflicted on homosexuals in Western culture down to the present day. His arguments are so flimsy and so evasive that they can only be likened to the reasoning by which a political columnist seeks to convince a half-educated audience. They evince none of the masterly flashes of insight or triumphs of paradoxical logic that are needed to persuade the academic mind.

The quintessence of Boswell’s failure in this direction is his Appendix I: Lexicography and Saint Paul, in which he challenges the traditional interpretation of I Corinthians VI 9, which asserts that οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται “neither effeminate nor abusers of themselves with mankind” shall inherit the Kingdom of God. Boswell takes great pains to prove that the two Greek words μαλακός and ἀρσενοκοίτης are not “technical terms for passive and active pederasty”, as is customarily assumed by exegetes of the New Testament, [1] but do not in fact refer to “homosexuals” at all. There is a germ of truth in this assertion, since the word “homosexuals” is an anachronism in the text of the Revised Standard Version of the English Bible, having been invented only in the year 1869 by Károly Mária Kertbeny, a Hungarian-German translator and bibliographer. But in regard to the point of reference of the Greek terms, I mean to demonstrate that the traditional view is correct and unassailable, and that the formal ties between the passage in I Corinthians and the texts prohibiting male (but not female) homosexuality in Leviticus XVIII 22 and XX 13 are clear and unambiguous.

1. The Greek text

The passage offers not a single problem in textual criticism; the transmission is quite uniform, and the original reading can be easily distinguished from the minor variants. Thus Boswell must direct his argument to the meaning of the words μαλακός and ἀρσενοκοίτης.

To understand why a writer of late antiquity employed two words where a modern author would need only one, it is necessary to grasp the fact that “homosexuality” is a theological-forensic concept that emerged only in the last third of the nineteenth century. The Greco-Roman world, like the folk-culture of American prisons today, categorized individuals not according to the gender of the sexual partner whom they chose, but rather according to the role which they took in sexual acts with that partner. For this reason the prison culture identifies only the passive-effeminate male homosexual and the active-viraginous Lesbian, because they are both departing from the social norms of masculine = active and feminine = passive. The notion of “homosexuality” as applying to both participants is a theological derivative of the prohibition in Leviticus XX 13, which — probably in the reign of Darius I — extended the sacral condemnation from the passive partner (the qādēš) to the active one (the client of the hierodule). [2]

In the hybrid compound homosexual the marked element has always — for obvious reasons — been the first component, yet it is the second that is crucial to the understanding of the term. Homosexual refers to the erotic attraction of an individual having the normal genitalia of one or the other sex to another individual having the normal genitalia of the same sex. The fault of this definition is that it disregards every other dimension, both physical and psychological, of the personalities of both the subject and the object of the desire. In other words, homosexual is an anatomical notion that a hundred years of research have failed to convert into a clinical or biological one in that no common denominator among “homosexual” subjects has ever been found.

The word μαλακός had been a commonplace designation of the passive-effeminate homosexual at least since Cratinus (the older contemporary of Aristophanes) had satirized the mores of the swishy set in Athens in his play οὶ Μαλθακοί, The Effeminates. Even if it had other meanings, they all accord with the ancient conception of effeminacy as the result of luxury, idleness, and pampered self-indulgence — a far cry from the claim of modern effeminists to ideological kinship with the exploited and downtrodden in capitalist society. Furthermore, although commentators from Hugo Grotius to Walther Zimmerli have failed to grasp the import of the tradition recorded in Ezekiel XVI 49, this is the complementary strand of the Sodom legend that Boswell mentions (p. 98 and n. 20), quoting Piers Plowman: “The awful catastrophe that came on the Sodomites was due to overplenty and pure sloth”. The legend of the city that was destroyed because of the inhospitality of its inhabitants the prophet Ezekiel turns into a reproach directed at the possessing classes in Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah: that in their affluence and leisure they deny social justice to the poor and needy — and concern for the widow and the orphan, for the oppressed and the rightless is one of the abiding themes of the prophets of Ancient Israel. Later Jewish tradition never abandoned this theme: in the Talmud the “measure of Sodom” is a term for selfish, uncharitable, anti-social behavior (b. Baba bathra 12b). But in the secondary development of the Sodom legend that emerges in Hellenistic Judaism, it served to reinforce the exegetical tradition that effeminacy and crimes against Nature caused the downfall of the Cities of the Plain.

Thus, the medieval commentator Nicholas de Lyra glosses the passage in Ezekiel as follows: Saturitas panis. delicose vivendo. “Fulness of bread. Living luxuriously.” Et manum egeno et pauperi non porrigebant. propter defectum misericordiae non potentiae ut patet ex praecedentibus et quia ista ducunt ad vitia carnis peiora, inde subditur. “And they extended not the hand to the needy and poor. For want of compassion, not of ability, as is evident from the preceding; and because such things lead to still worse vices of the flesh, therefore it is mentioned next.” Et fecerunt abominationes coram me. exercendo vitium contra naturam quod est abominabile. “And they committed abominations before me by practicing unnatural vice, which is abominable.” However broad the semantic field of μαλακός may have been, the specifically erotic nuances of the word could have been lost on no reader in antiquity.

As for ἀρσενοκοίτης, it did not occur in Attic Greek, but originated in the Hellenistic period as part of the lexicon of astrological characterology. Its first appearance is in a text of Teucer of Babylon (probably late third or early second century before the Christian era) that was published in a set of excerpts from the astrological manuscripts in the libraries of Paris in the Catalogus codicum astrologorum Graecorum, VIII, 4, 196, lines 6 and 8, in the form ἀρρενοκοίτας. The whole chapter is significantly entitled Περὶ δεκανῶν ἀσελγοποιῶν “On the Libidinizing Decans”, and the antonym μαλακούς occurs three times just in that chapter, at 197, 15, 16, and 198, 14. Elsewhere in the same manuscript the word μαλακός is used time and again to denote the passive-effeminate type of male, in opposition to the aggressive, sexually desirous female — an antinomy that conforms to the equation masculine = active and feminine = passive.

Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Praeparatio evangelica, VI, 10, 25, has the word in a quotation from Bardesanes (Bar Daiṣān), and this is from a treatise on geographical astrology that purported to derive the characteristics and habits of the natives of different regions of the world from the planetary influences to which they were subject — a prescientific anticipation of modern biometeorology. Otherwise, the only further parallel is the verb ἀρσενοκοιτεῖν in the Sybilline Oracles, II, 73 — a Jewish forgery that probably reflects in this coinage the influence of the Septuagint of Leviticus XVIII 22: καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος ού κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικείαν. And so the meaning of the word is unambiguous and remains so even today in Modern Greek, while the parallels to the second component can be found in texts over a period of a thousand years.

The fragments of the poet Hipponax, for example, contain the word μητροκοίτης as a designation for one who has committed the crime of Oedipus. The fourth-century astrologer Paulus of Alexandria uses δουλοκοίτης to mean “one who lies with maid-servants”. And still earlier, at the beginning of the third century the first Christian Latin author, Tertullian, mentions a malicious cartoon directed against the adherents of the new religion in Roman Carthage: a figure with the ears of an ass (auribus asinis) and the inscription Deus Christianorum onokoites (also spelled onocoetes). The meaning of this word has puzzled the exegetes, who cannot understand why the God of the Christians should be styled ὀνοκοίτης. A recent article has gone halfway [3] toward explaining the enigma: the author of the libel was a renegade Jew who belonged to the troupes of performers in the circuses condemned by Christian moralists and shunned by their followers. The term can only mean “one who has carnal commerce with a she-ass”, and the reference is to a piece of stage magic in which the vaginal secretion of a she-ass, when mixed with oil and applied to a man’s head, was supposed to make him appear with the head of an ass. [4] Thus the Christian God owes his asinine ears to the she-ass who splashed him with her vaginal fluid.

2. The Latin text

Here once more the textual transmission is consistent and unambiguous: the equivalents of the Greek words, from Tertullian and the Vetus Latina to the Clementine Vulgate, are molles and masculorum concubitores. Of these the first had been used in Latin since Catullus to express the notion of Greek μαλακός, and the second is a lexical innovation the sole parallel to which is the concubitores puerorum fiunt turpes libidinosi aprini of the Liber Hermetis Trismegisti, a Latin text preserved only in a manuscript of the year 1431, but deriving from a Greek original that must have been composed no later than the first half of the second pre-Christian century in Egypt. The last word, aprini, is unintelligible and probably to be explained as the faulty reading ΑΠΡΙΝΟΙ for ΑΓΡΙΝΟΙ as in the lemma of Hesychius άγρῖνοι· οὶ παιδερασταί. [5] The same work also has the phrase molles fiunt muliebria patientes, which defines the first term as referring to those who took the female role in homosexual relations. The origin of the word ἀρσενοκοίτης in the technical language of astrology is further supported by this text, which has gone unnoticed until now. It should also be noted that the three compounds that offer a clear parallel to ἀρσενοκοίτης are all hapax legomena, and that δουλοκοίτης is likewise an astrological term. Evidently words of this group belonged to a vulgar and non-literary stratum of the Greek language; but while they are seldom attested, their meaning is clear enough.

Latin itself borrowed both of the Greek words, though at different periods in its history. The term μαλακός is attested in Early Latin as malacus, [6] but was later replaced by the native word mollis. Then in early medieval writers the Greek ἀρσενοκοίτης is rendered by arsenoquita, [7] a spelling that reflects the itacizing pronunciation of οι in Byzantine Greek. Very likely the word was borrowed just because it was less cumbersome than masculorum concubitor, the standard Latin equivalent. This last expression, it should be observed, agrees with the Vetus Latina of Leviticus XVIII 22: et cum masculo non dormibis cubile muliebre against St. Jerome’s rendering: cum masculo non commisceberis coitu femineo, and with Leviticus XX 13: quicumque manserit cum masculo concubito muliebri against St. Jerome’s qui dormierit cum masculo coitu femineo. [8]

3. The Syriac text

The rendering of the Greek words into Syriac is particularly instructive in that the Semitic languages do not form nominal compounds of the type ἀρσενοκοίτης. Hence the Syriac translator had to employ the phrase “[those] lying with a male”, which has the merit of avoiding all ambiguity. The first part of the compound is and can only be objective genitive, exactly as in the Latin translation. Furthermore, the Syriac agrees with Targum Onkelos [9] (and the Hebrew original) of Leviticus XVIII 22 in using the verb škb against the Peshitta, which employs dmk in its rendering of that passage.

4. The Coptic text

The same idiosyncrasy of language occurs in the Coptic translation of the passage, which belongs to a time when Greek was the spoken language of a considerable part of the population of Egypt. This may explain in part why the word μαλακός is left untranslated in the Coptic rendering, as it was familiar enough to Coptic speakers and had a nuance that no native term could adequately express. [10]

5. The Arabic text

In a ninth-century manuscript of the Epistles of Paul, the first of the Greek words is rendered by mufsidīn, “corrupt, vicious”, which reflects the moral evaluation, even in the Orient, of the passive-effeminate homosexual. The second term is translated by words meaning “who lie with males”, once more without ambiguity. [11]

6. The Church Slavonic text

The passage under analysis does not occur in the canonical Old Church Slavonic texts, but in a Russian Church Slavonic manuscript of the twelfth century the words are rendered ni malaki ni muželežnici, [12] and in a Serbian Church Slavonic copy of the fourteenth by ni malakii ni muželožnici. [13] As in the Coptic version, the first member of the pair is left untranslated, while the second agrees with the rendering of Leviticus XVIII 22 in the Bible of Ostrog (1581): i s mužem da ne ljažeši žen’ ska loža. Furthermore, the verb ἀρσενοκοιτεῖν is reflected in the muželožstvovat’ of a late eighteenth-century Russian text, and the noun ἀρσενοκοιτία corresponds to the term muželožstvo, which is used to this day in Article 121 of the Penal Code of the RSFSR to denote male homosexuality. [14]

In summation it may be stated that the evidence of the Letter of Aristeas, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, the Sybilline Oracles, pseudo-Phocylides, Philo Judaeus, and Josephus Flavius conclusively shows the taboo on male homosexuality to have been fully developed in Hellenistic Judaism at the beginning of the Christian era, and that the condemnation of both the passive and the active participant expressed in Leviticus XVIII 22 and XX 13 is unambiguously continued in I Corinthians VI 9. It remained only for the Christian Church, once it had gained the state power in the Roman Empire, to make the sodomy delusion normative for Western civilization as a whole.

But the central question that Boswell has posed in Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (the very title contains a double oxymoron) goes far beyond the mere interpretation of a passage in the New Testament: it is one that the author cannot truly fathom, because he naively assumes that such a thing as “gay consciousness” has always existed. The bulk of the evidence not only militates against this assumption, but even points to a paradox: the Christian Church itself, by mercilessly outlawing all forms of homosexual expression and even feeling, unwillingly and unwittingly created the homosexual identity that emerges in modern times as the subjective reflex of the theological-forensic notion. What the church did can be adequately subsumed in the term soul murder, which was invented by the Swedish playwright August Strindberg in 1887 [15] and adopted by Daniel Paul Schreber in the autobiographical memoir that inspired Freud’s classic paper on the Schreber case (1911). [16]

Soul murder means interfering with the identity and destroying the joy in life of another human being. It is a crime made possible by the plight of the powerless child in the hands of psychopathic or psychotic parents (or their individual or institutional surrogates). The identity of the child can be ruthlessly shattered, its capacity to give and to receive love destroyed. Being in the complete power of the persecuting parent or Church means that the victim must turn to that very persecutor for rescue; the victim must deny the horror of his own suffering in order to survive. In Ibsen’s play John Gabriel Borkman (1896), Ella Rentheim declares: “The greatest of all sins — for which there is neither grace nor mercy nor forgiveness — is to destroy the instinct for love in a human soul.”

It is this sin that the Christian Church has committed against homosexuals: soul murder on a macrocosmic scale that is reenacted in the microcosm of each homosexual personality struggling for identity and self-respect in the midst of an implacably hostile society. Yet there are scholars and intellectuals like Boswell who still turn to the persecuting Church for salvation, who use their talents to absolve the Church of its hideous responsibility for the systematic intolerance that homosexuals in Western Christendom have had to endure for many long centuries.

The behavior of the Church can only be likened to that of a criminal psychopath, incapable of appreciating the objective consequences of its own actions, oblivious to the suffering and injustice that it has caused, devoid of pity or empathy for the victims that it has tormented, and now frantically bent upon placing the blame for its own wrongdoing squarely upon the shoulders of the laymen whom it has systematically deceived and suborned.

Yet by what must be the ultimate irony of history, the Church through its very intolerance forged the gay consciousness that has survived the ordeal of theological condemnation and forensic outlawry and proudly asserted itself in the twentieth century, in terms that are almost foreshadowed in Schreber’s own words in his autobiography:

Every attempt to commit a soul murder, to emasculate me for purposes contrary to the world order (that is, for the gratification of the sexual cravings of a human being) and later to destroy my reason, has failed. I have emerged from this seemingly unequal struggle between a single weak human being and God himself — albeit after much bitter suffering and privation — as the victor, because the world order is on my side. [17]

Boswell and his admirers may if they wish choose to celebrate the achievements of “gay people” in history, and none should refuse them that right; but if they deny the responsibility of the Church for the soul murder that it has committed upon homosexuals, individually and collectively, through aeons of intimidation and oppression, then they are acting as the accomplices of a criminal psychopath, and when the magnitude of the crime that institutional Christianity has perpetrated is revealed to the world, they — and the Church — will suffer unparalleled dishonor.


[1] Lukas Visher, Die Auslegungsgeschichte von I. Kor. 6, 1-11: Rechtsverzicht und Schlichtung (= Beiträge zur Geschichte der neutestamentlichen Exegese, 1) (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1955), pp. 1, 18. It is revealing of the one-sidedness of Boswell’s scholarship that although he devotes 19 pages of his book to an unsuccessful effort at refuting the traditional interpretation of this verse, he does not even mention the foregoing work. Parenthetically, it should be noted that the expression “passive and active pederasty” is also an anachronism. For the Greeks the youthful partner of the παιδεραστής was the ἀΐτης or ἐρώμενος, who in turn was distinct from the μαλακός or κίναιδος.

[2] Justin in his Epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of Pompeius Trogus, XIX 1 10, relates that on the eve of the invasion of Greece legati a Dario rege Carthaginem venerunt, afferentes edictum quo Poeni humanas hostias immolare et canina vesci prohibebantur “ambassadors came from Darius King of the Persians to Carthage, bringing an edict by which the Carthaginians were forbidden to offer human sacrifices and to eat dog meat.” This would explain why the prohibition of Moloch worship stands at the head of the legal novel Leviticus XVIII 21-23 and also in Leviticus XX 2-6: the law could not be enforced apodictically, it needed the police power of the Persian state to be made effective.

[3] Claude Aziza, “Recherches sur l’‘onokoites’ des écrits apologétiques de Tertullien”, Hommage à Pierre Fargues (= Annales de la Faculté des Lettres et Sciences humaines de Nice, 21), pp. 283-290 (1974), commenting on Tertullian, Ad nationes 1, 14 and Apologecum 16, 12.

[4] Max Wellmann, Die Φυσικά des Bolos Demokritos und der Magier Anaxilaos aus Larissa, Teil I (= Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Jahrgang 1928, philosophisch-historische Klasse, 7), p. 78 and Der Physiologos, Eine religionsgeschichtlich-naturwissenschaftliche Untersuchung (= Philogus, Supplementband 22, 1, 1930), p. 96. The trick stemmed from the Παίγνια of Anaxilaus of Larissa.

[5] Wilhelm Gundel, Neue astrologische Texte des Hermes Trismegistos. Funde und Forschungen auf dem Gebiet der antiken Astronomie und Astrologie (= Abhundlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, philosophisch-historische Abteilung, neue Folge, 12, 1936), p. 80, line 8 and p. 74, lines 15-16.

[6] Ennius, frag. var. 25 in Ennianae poesis reliquiae, ed. Johannes Vahlen (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1903), p. 217; Plautus, Truculentus 609.

[7] Ordo romanus VIII, 5 in Migne, PL 78: 1001D.

[8] Pentateuchi versio latina antiquissima e Codice Lugdunensi. Version latine du Pentateuque antérieure à Saint Jérome, ed. Ulysse Robert (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1881), p. 234; Pierre Sabatier, OSB, Bibliorum sacrorum latinae versiones antiquae, seu Vatus Italica, I (Paris: François Didot, 1751), pp. 218, 252, citing the Capitularium S. Pauli et Petri.

[9] An interesting example of possible dependence of the Peshitta (the Christian Syrian Aramaic translation of the Bible) on Targum Onkelos (the Babylonian Jewish Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch). Cf. Alexander Sperber, “Peshitta und Onkelos”, Jewish Studies in Memory of George A. Kohut (New York: The Alexander Kohut Memorial Foundation, 1935), pp. 562-563.

[10] The Coptic Version of the New Testament in the Northern Dialect Otherwise Called Memphitic and Bohairic. Volume III. The Epistles of Paul (Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1905), p. 144.

[11] An Arabic Version of the Epistles of St. Paul to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians with Part of the Epistle to the Ephesians from a Ninth Century MS. in the Convent of St Catherine on Mount Sinai, ed. Margaret Dunlop Gibson (= Studia Sinaitica, 2) (London: C. J. Clay and Sons, 1894), p. ٤٧.

[12] Actus epistolaeque apostolorum palaeoslovenice, ed. Aemilianus Kałužniacki (Vienna: apud Caroli Geroldi filium, 1896), p. 144.

[13] Apostolus e codice monasterii Šišatovac palaeoslovenice, ed. Fran Miklošič (Vienna: G. Braumüller, 1853), p. 78.

[14] The verb is attested in a description of the bardaches of Siberia in Rossijskij magazin, p. 372 (1792), quoted by A. Maksimov, “Prevraščenie pola” (Change of Sex), Russkij antropologičeskij žurnal, 29: 2 (1912).

[15] In an article on Ibsen’s Rosmersholm entitled “Själamord”, Tryckt och otryckt, III (Stockholm: Bonnier, 1891).

[16] Sigmund Freud, “Psychoanalytische Bemerkungen über einen autobiographisch beschriebenen Fall von Paranoia (Dementia paranoides)”, Gesammelte Werke, VIII (London: Imago Publishing Co., 1943), pp. 239-320. The German term is Seelenmord. The concept has been further developed and elaborated by Leonard Shengold in “Soul Murder: A Review”, International Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 3: 366-373 (1974) and “Kaspar Hauser and Soul Murder: A Study of Deprivation”, International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 5: 457-476 (1978).

[17] Freud, op. cit., p. 252.

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