Dr Charalampos (Harry) Stamelos

Same-sex relations, love and tolerance: the example of adelphopoiesis in Christian Church since 1400


John Boswell in his book ‘Same-sex union in pre-modern Europe’ (also published as ‘The marriage of likeness’) states that adelphopoiesis or brotherhood in the context of the Christian Church was to unite two persons in a marriage-like union. His theory has been disputed both by academic experts, such as Claudia Rapp, and the religious community, such as Archimandrite Ephrem Lash.
In this paper we argue that John Boswell’s theory may partly be true. The main arguments to support the theory of John Boswell are:

(a) There was a different approach of the Church for the people and for the elite throughout history regarding same-sex relations and marriages;

(b) There was a different approach of the Church outside the monasteries and within the premises of the monasteries;

(c) In the monasteries only men and only women could live together, increasing the hypothesis that same-sex relations were tolerated;

(d) The prohibition of same-sex marriage among people aimed at the encouragement of births, whilst in monasteries there was no such possibility or need;

(e) There has been clear evidence that brotherhood has started since the era of the Templars and continued both in Western and Eastern Orthodox Church;

(f) The basic Christian idea ‘love each other’ may include all kinds of unions and has never excluded same-sex unions historically under a universal or holistic analysis. An original interpretation of ‘love each other’ includes all kinds of relations and marriages.


Dr Charalampos (Harry) Stamelos is a Lecturer of Law in European University Cyprus Law School since 2020 in Introduction to Law with specialisation in History of Law and Jurisprudence, and a lawyer in Athens since 2000. He graduated from Athens Law School, Greece, in 1998, received LLM in EU Law from Essex Law School, UK, in 1999, LLM in History of Law and Jurisprudence from Athens Law School in 2002 and his PhD in International and US-EU Comparative Law of Competition from Athens Law School in 2011.
Since 2006 Dr Stamelos has published 10 law books in English or Greek regarding international law, comparative law, competition law, history of law and jurisprudence. He has published papers in English or Greek. In 2020 he published an online article for the holistic analysis of law. He strongly supports the idea of a holistic analysis of national and international law and jurisprudence as a new method of analysing and approaching national and international law issues philosophically and historically.

Selected publications: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=SMOs3d8AAAAJ&hl=en
EUC website: https://euc.ac.cy/en/academics/faculty-profiles/faculty-school-of-law/