The Spirituality of Sex

Overview

This book describes the psychospiritual facts of life about the pervasiveness of sexuality in all aspects of human life. The energy developed by our libido is the dynamic source of all the forces that shape our experience, life, motives, thought, feelings, desires, and spiritual longings. No facet of life is untouched or unshaped by this dynamo. Whether we are sitting in church at worship, in a meeting for business, in a party for pleasure, we are always aware of the gender of those who are around us and of their...

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The Spirituality of Sex

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Overview

This book describes the psychospiritual facts of life about the pervasiveness of sexuality in all aspects of human life. The energy developed by our libido is the dynamic source of all the forces that shape our experience, life, motives, thought, feelings, desires, and spiritual longings. No facet of life is untouched or unshaped by this dynamo. Whether we are sitting in church at worship, in a meeting for business, in a party for pleasure, we are always aware of the gender of those who are around us and of their level of sensuality, as it impacts us. If we are not aware of that, some wounding has produced an impairment in us that has forced us to repress the awareness inappropriately. This work is not a how to manual so much as a description of the deep meaningfulness that can be found in the spirituality of sex. It is designed to enlighten us about ourselves, to give names to what we all feel all the time and do not know quite how to describe. It is about savoring the spiritual flavor of sexual play and sexual union. This is a book for everyone, from the inquiring adolescent to the mature adult looking for what is missing in sex and relationships. This is not a book mainly for Christians or Jews. It is about the generic human spirituality in every one of us, true believer and atheist alike. It is about being human more fully and with greater satisfaction.

Human spirituality is best defined as our irrepressible hunger and quest for meaning in all aspects of life. Human sexuality is best defined as our irrepressible hunger and quest for union with other persons and the meaning of life found in the wholeness that such union brings. Sexuality and spirituality are not two different things. They are two names for the same thing: the irrepressible human quest for meaning, fulfillment, union, and wholeness. They are not two different forces, nor are they in any way at odds with one another, as they have been made to seem in the polarizing attitudes about sexuality and spirituality popular in human society, thanks to the excessive and negative moralization of sex. Here, Ellens sheds new light on the interplay of sexuality and spirituality through the use of anecdotes, observation, and thoughtful analysis.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Spirituality of Sex is not a how-to manual so much as a description of the deep meaningfulness that can be found in the spirituality of sex. It is designed to enlighten us about ourselves, to give names to what we feel all the time and do not know quite how to describe. It is about savoring the spiritual flavor of sexual play and sexual union. It is not a book mainly for Christians or Jews, but a book for everyone. It is about the generic human spirituality in each one of us, true believer and atheist alike. It is about being human more fully and with greater satisfaction."

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SirReadaLot.org

"Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers."

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Choice

"What is life all about? In simple terms, it's a search for meaning. The author, a retired pastor and university professor, contends that our search for meaning happens in both the spiritual and the sexual realms of our living. In fact, he contends the two are intertwined in countless ways. The book is an exploration of that connectedness, and it includes some quite engaging stories of how people go about figuring all that out."

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Faith Matters weblog

"…this book has value and can be useful to those seeking to deepen their relationships with God and with loved ones. The Spirituality of Sex is part of a larger series on psychology, religion, and spirituality published by Praeger, and it is intended to address the needs of a general audience. It is not a book claiming to offer groundbreaking insights into psychology or theology. Rather, it aims to facilitate the dialogue between these disciplines for those who are neither psychologists nor theologians. This text serves this purpose. It is a thoughtful reflection on the importance of sexuality and spirituality in our lives, recognizing that our needs and desires for sex need not be antagonistic to our yearning for relationship with the transcendent. The Spirituality of Sex helps us to understand why interest in both spirituality and sex seems to be growing in contemporary life, and why it is unwise to pursue one without the other."

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PsycCRITIQUES

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313362613
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/30/2009
  • Series: Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality Series
  • Pages: 185
  • Sales rank: 1,322,674
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

J. HAROLD ELLENS is a retired university professor of philosophy and psychology, a retired US Army Colonel, a retired Presbyterian pastor and theologian, Executive Director Emeritus of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies International; Founder and Editor in Chief Emeritus of the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, a clinical psychotherapist in private practice, the author, co-author, or editor of 175 volumes and author of 166 professional journal articles. He continues in his role as Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Biblical Studies at University of Detroit Mercy, in Classics at Wayne State University, and Research Scholar in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. His books with Praeger include Sex in the Bible, Radical Grace, and others.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Foreword

Chapter One: Spirituality as Quest for Meaningful Fulfillment.

Chapter Two: Daily Life as Sexual Spirituality.

Chapter Three: The Spirituality of Wooing and Courting.

Chapter Four: The Reach for Meaningful Connection, Human Lover and Loving God.

Chapter Five: The Psychospirituality of Communion, Union, Ecstasy, and Eternity.

Chapter Six: Spirituality as Being Really Intimately Present to Another Person.

Chapter Seven: Orgasm as Spiritual Experience.

Chapter Eight: Tenderness: The Continued Cherishing.

Chapter Nine: The Healing Power of Sensuality and Sexual Play.

Chapter Ten: Summing Up: Sexuality as a Spiritual Way of Life.

Notes

Bibliography

Series Editor's Afterword

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