Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Issue of Public Bathing (Laodicea - Canon 30)

None of the priesthood, nor clerics nor ascetics, nor any Christian or layman, shall wash in a bath with women; for this is the greatest reproach among the heathen.

An immediate reaction in modern vernacular should be: No duh!  The historical situation was a bit more complicated because private baths were the exception rather than the norm.  In order to maintain a good name for Christ, those dedicated to the work of the gospel were to take extra care to not bathe when women were present at the public bath.  This removed the clergyman from an occasion of sin though the mixed-gender use was culturally acceptable.

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