The Erotic Word : Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Bible: Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Bible

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Oxford University Press, USA, Dec 19, 2002 - Psychology - 224 pages
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Historically, the Bible has been used to drive a wedge between the spirit and the body. In this provocative book, David Carr argues that it can--and should--do just the opposite. Sexuality and spirituality, Carr contends, are intricately interwoven: when one is improverished, the other is warped. As a result, the journey toward God and the life-long engagement with our own sexual embodiment are inseparable. Humans, the Bible tells us, both male and female, were created in God's image, and eros--a fundamental longing for connection that finds abstract good in the pleasure we derive from the stimulation of the senses--is a central component of that image. The Bible, particularly the Hebrew Bible, affirms erotic passion, both eros between humans and eros between God and humans. In a sweeping examination of the sexual rules of the Bible, Carr asserts that Biblical "family values" are a far cry from anything promoted as such in contemporary politics. He concludes that passionate love--our preoccupaton therewith and pursuit thereof--is the primary human vocation, that eros is in fact the flavoring of life.
 

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Contents

Introduction The Bible and Eros
x
THE EDEN GARDEN AND THE LAW
12
Before the Garden Made in Gods Bodily Image
14
The Eden Garden Part 1 Created for Erotic Connection
24
The Eden Garden Part 2 The Tragic Loss of Connectedness
36
The Rules Biblical Sexual Morality
46
ISAIAHS VINEYARD GARDEN AND THE PROPHETS
54
Marriage to God Isaiahs Vineyard and Other Images of DivineHuman Sexuality
56
Other Gardens Womens Worlds and Ancient Love Poetry
88
Come to the Garden A Walk through the Song of Songs
106
The Erotic and the Mystical Bringing Sexuality and Spirituality Together in Reading the Song of Songs
136
CONCLUDING REFLECTIONS
150
The Word Made Flesh Echoes of Old Testament Gardens in the New Testament
152
Epilogue The Erotic Word
168
Notes
176
Index of Scriptural Citations
204

Unromantic Eros DivineHuman Gender Terror Religious Exclusivism and Love Gone Wrong
72
THE GARDEN OF THE SONG OF SONGS AMIDST THE WRITINGS
86

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