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Mapping as metamorphosis: Initial reflections on gender and ancient religious discourses

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Chapter Summary

Mapping is an inherently creative process, giving rise to novel entities and insights. Precisely to the extent that the map becomes the territory, mapping generates whole new worlds of image, symbol or text. Mapping gender, in the case of this book, is a process that manifests within ancient religious discourses, as gender is produced iteratively at multiple sites and according to largely unpredictable (even chaotic) orders of causality. The author explains briefly several significant convergences or points of contact among the various contributions namely, gender and masculinity, gender and sexuality, gender and the body, and gender and empire. If mapping thus constitutes a metamorphosis in which orders give rise to their own self-exceeding, perhaps love—eros is at the crux of the transformations that occur both within and across the complex domains of gender and religion.

Keywords: ancient religious discourses; mapping gender; masculinity; metamorphosis; Roman empire; sexuality

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