Body, Sex, and Pleasure: Reconstructing Christian Sexual Ethics

Front Cover
Pilgrim Press, 1995 - Religion - 276 pages
Perhaps no other single moral issue today is as hotly contested, or as divisive, as sexuality. Offering a bold and hopeful vision of how Christians - and all people of goodwill - can view this explosive topic, ethicist Christine Gudorf proposes nothing less than a sweeping challenge to traditional Christian teaching on sexual roles, activities, and relationships. Deftly drawing on Scripture, natural law, historical and contemporary Catholic and Protestant theology, the social sciences, and, significantly, the lived experiences of today's women and men, Gudorf presents a carefully crafted and systematic reconstruction of Christian sexual ethics. Her aim, above all, is to engender appreciation, not rejection and shame, of our bodies and our sexuality. Contending that body, sex, and pleasure are divine gifts revealing God's grace, Gudorf emphasizes the need to understand sexual desire as a positive good, a source of love and commitment. She further explores the relationship between sexuality and reproduction, arguing that "procreationism" - the assumption that the sole aim and ultimate end of sexuality must always be offspring - is unjust and oppressive. Written with insight, clarity, and compassion, Body, Sex, and Pleasure is a provocative and compelling call to all women and men to reject the damaging influence of body/soul dualism - and, ultimately, to do justice to the Incarnation, the central revelations of Scripture, and human dignity.

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