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After the Wrath of GodAIDS, Sexuality, and American Religion$
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Anthony M. Petro

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391288

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391288.001.0001

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Emerging Moralities

Emerging Moralities

American Christians, Sexuality, and AIDS

(p.18) Chapter One Emerging Moralities
After the Wrath of God

Anthony M. Petro

Oxford University Press

Chapter One narrates the emergence of the AIDS epidemic in the United States with attention to the earliest prominent religious responses. It focuses on the history of Protestant Christian responses in the 1980s, including both liberal Protestant ministry work and evangelical AIDS activism. It asks what cultural and theological tropes Christians used to think and write about the epidemic, including in particular biblical ideas about sodomy and the wrath of God. This chapter explores how these forms of AIDS work evince specific understandings of disease and biomedicine, combining in different ways both medical knowledge and moral attitudes toward sexuality that have influenced public health discussions.

Keywords:   Protestants, evangelicalism, Rick Warren, AIDS, morality, sodomy, Christian Right, Religious Right

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