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Sex and the Church

Overview

Sex and the Church is a groundbreaking book that brings lesbian and gay theory and experience to bear on questions of sexuality and its relationship to Christian life. Ethicist Kathy Rudy begins by showing how the Christian Right's campaign for "family values" has profoundly shaped American debates about gender and sexuality, and how mainline Protestant denominations have responded by focusing narrowly on questions of inclusion and exclusion, rights and privileges for lesbians and gay men. She then moves the ...
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Overview

Sex and the Church is a groundbreaking book that brings lesbian and gay theory and experience to bear on questions of sexuality and its relationship to Christian life. Ethicist Kathy Rudy begins by showing how the Christian Right's campaign for "family values" has profoundly shaped American debates about gender and sexuality, and how mainline Protestant denominations have responded by focusing narrowly on questions of inclusion and exclusion, rights and privileges for lesbians and gay men. She then moves the debate onto a new level, drawing on queer theory and the lives of gay and lesbian Christians to answer new questions: Are gender and sexual orientation categories by which we should define ourselves and judge each other? Is the nuclear family the best site for Christian commitment? What is the purpose of sex, and what does it have to do with God? And what kind of intimate relationships best contribute to the formation of Christian community? Rudy concludes by proposing a new Christian sexual ethic that adapts the ancient notion of unitivity and procreativity to the church of today. This provocative work offers a powerful vision of a renewed Christian community, open to all.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Rudy (ethics and women's studies, Duke Univ.) invites Christians to examine their ideas of family, community, and the morality of sex. Rudy argues that by asking whether gay and lesbian couples should be ordained or married, we avoid other sociosexual questions. The question is not male or female, gay or straight, but how the act of sex affects one's relationship with God and the Christian community. Rudy examines various understandings of sexuality, both historically and currently, in order to codify a Christian-based system of sexual ethics. As the Christian Right brings a resurgence in the popularity of the cult of domesticity, with women and mothers being the connection for the family to God, we genderize the relationship with God. Rudy argues that society will be able to transform the church and find God only by returning to a Christian community and open discussions of moral and immoral sex. Scholarly work for large religious collections.L. Kriz, West Des Moines P.L., Ia.
Booknews
Rudy (ethics and women's studies, Duke U.) uses queer theory as the basis for exploring the debate on sexuality and the church, with the goal of reconstructing a theological sexual ethic for the 21st century. She discusses the political landscape of contemporary Christianity, historical roots of gendered theology, the campaign for family values, and the social construction of gender and sexual identities; and she concludes by proposing a new Christian sexual ethic for a Christian community open to all. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641033469
  • Publisher: Beacon Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Pages: 157

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Ch. 1 A Divided Church 1
Ch. 2 "Haven in a Heartless World" 15
Ch. 3 Sexuality, Salvation, and the Campaign for Family Values 45
Ch. 4 Gay Communities and the Value of Family 67
Ch. 5 "In Christ There Is No Male and Female" 85
Ch. 6 Toward a Progressive Sexual Ethic 108
Notes 131
Index 155
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