Orientalist Camp: The Case of Allen Edwardes

Roland Boer


This article seeks to recover and assess the work of Allen Edwardes, a sexologist, linguist, and biblical scholar who was part of the circle around R. E. L. Masters and Albert Ellis. The focus is on Edwardes's extraordinary Erotica Judaica. I argue that Edwardes may be seen in terms of 'orientalist camp'—two categories I introduce before situating Edwardes within the 1960s and sexual liberation. From there, the argument concerns the tensions within Edwardes's work between scholarly argument and ribald commentary, which appears in one's own bodily response, in the main text, and in the nature of the footnotes. In closing, I suggest that in this tension Edwardes challenges the polite conventions of scholarship.


Judaica, ancient Near East, erotica; scholarship; creative etymology

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11157/rsrr2-1-8