Religion Past and Present

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(1,583 words)

[German Version]

I. Religious Studies

Prostitution, the “oldest profession,” is a form of surrendering one’s own body, tendentially at will, to other people for sex. It can have various motivations, but here we shall consider primarily its religious context. Sacral prostitutes, male and female, have often been associated with temples. The phenomenon was widespread in the ancient Near East, with prostitutes devoted to various goddesses. Even in Jerusalem, prostitutes of both sexes apparently were not banned from…

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Hoheisel, Karl and Kirchhoff, Renate, “Prostitution”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 04 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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