Generous Orthodoxy  

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

David and Jonathan: Gay Lovers?

It is now asserted by many that the relationship of David and Jonathan (the son of King Saul), described in I Samuel 18:1-3 and II Samuel I:26, was homoerotic.

Edmund S. Morgan, by any standard one of the pre-eminent American historians of his generation, wrote a review of Ron Chernow's acclaimed biography, Alexander Hamilton, in which he [Morgan] makes these observations about young Hamilton during the Revolutionary War:

"Hamilton's ebullient energies found expression in close friendships with other young officers and romantic attachments to young women...He formed an intimate bond with John Laurens...Their relationship was so close that Hamilton's son and biographer described it as approaching 'the tenderness of feminine attachment.'...Bonding of this kind has always been common among warriors and what seem today to be extravagant expressions of love by one young man to another can be found in other eighteenth-century letters where the relationships were almost certainly not erotic." (The New York Review of Books, 9/23/04)