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Chapter Summary

The front matter section of the book The Ethics of Obscene Speech in Early Christianity and Its Environment contains the table of contents, acknowledgements, list of figures, list of abbreviations, and preface. Given the great quantity of scholarly literature on most aspects of early Christian morality, it is surprising how little has been written about the early Christian opposition to foul language. This book aims to contextualize early Christian rhetoric about foul language by asking such questions as: Where was foul language encountered? Were there conventional arguments for avoiding (or for using) obscene words? How would the avoidance of such speech have been interpreted by others? It shows that looking at the ancient uses of and discourse about foul language can shed light on how various Christians conceived their identity and mission in their own time and culture.

Keywords: early Christian morality; foul language; obscene speech

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