Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Pornography and Religiousness

  • Rasheda ParveenEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_200098-1

The English word “pornography” is derived from the Greek word pornographos which literally means “writing of harlots,” and erotic elements in speech, paintings, and writings have been circulating in society from very ancient times. It is in the year 1857 that the first definition of pornography appeared in a medical dictionary but explicit sexual materials – drawings and artifacts – have been found in all ages and civilizations. The early cultures of India had produced sex manuals such as Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra(fifth century); Japanese mothers had written and handed down “pillow books” to aid their daughters into sexual lives and pleasures; and Roman Catullus wrote sexually explicit poems in Latin in the first century. In addition, there were pictorial representations of it in ceramic works of ancient Greeks and Romans, pornographic pottery by pre-Incan society of Peru, and drawings on walls of Pompeii’s buildings depicting sexual practices, including homosexual and sexual activities...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LanguagesVIT-APAmaravatiIndia