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Visions of SodomReligion, Homoerotic Desire, and the End of the World in England, c. 1550-1850$
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H. G. Cocks

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226438665

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226438832.001.0001

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City of Destruction

City of Destruction

Chapter:
(p.57) Chapter Two City of Destruction
Source:
Visions of Sodom
Author(s):

H. G. Cocks

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226438832.003.0003

Sodom was also the archetype of the iniquitous city, where sin reached its apogee. The immorality of the modern city was decried by godly preachers, not least in the Paul's Cross sermons delivered at St. Paul's in London and in Fast Day sermons after 1640. There, they denounced the failings of the contemporary polity, including fornication, atheism, irreligion, and sodomy. England was said to be like Sodom, teetering on the brink of destruction. These analogies were given force by folk tales and legends inspired by the original Sodom story which told of cities swallowed up by water or destroyed by fire for their immorality and corruption. These marks of divine vengeance could be seen in the landscape. The Paul's Cross and Fast Day sermons mention homoerotic behaviour, but do not believe that it is widespread in England. However, preachers did identify it as one of the sins of Sodom that lived on in the present.

Keywords:   city, sermons, Jeremiad, Paul's Cross, Fast Day, St. Paul's, London

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