1st Edition

Contemporary Theological Approaches to Sexuality

Edited By Lisa Isherwood, Dirk von der Horst Copyright 2018
    358 Pages
    by Routledge

    358 Pages
    by Routledge

    Contemporary Theological Approaches to Sexuality provides a much-needed overview of the state of scholarship on Christian theological reflection on sexuality and sexual theology. Critically, it also intervenes in the cultural debate over sexuality by privileging feminist, queer, and other counter-normative perspectives. Comprising twenty-three chapters by a team of international contributors this volume is divided into four parts:

    • Normativity and transgression

    • Bodies

    • Economies and violence

    • Divinity.

    Within these sections central issues, debates and problems are examined, including consideration of the complexities of Christian theology in regard to contemporary sexuality debates. Contemporary Theological Approaches to Sexuality is essential reading for students and researchers in the field of religion, sexuality, and Christianity.


      Part I: Normativity and transgression

      1. Normativity and Transgression- Lisa Isherwood & Dirk von der Horst

      2. Part II: Bodies

      3. Gender –AdrianThatcher

      4. Transgender – Sharon A. Bong

      5. A sexual communion of subjects- Anne Benvenuti

      6. Neurotheologies and sexualities – Montserrat Escribano-Cárcel

      7. Sexual renunciation in Christian history and theology – Sarah Moslener

      8. Theeology: the "not necessarily Christian alternative" available to pre-Stonewall gay women – Marie Cartier

      9. Music – Dirk von der Horst

      10. Queering Desire- Robyn Henderson-Espinoza

      11. Part III: Economies and Violence

      12. Marriage – Lisa Isherwood

      13. Just sex work: a liberation thological, Marxist economic, and global feminist analysis of sex in the sex trade – Thia Cooper and Kristian Braekkan

      14. Christian theology, sexuality and globalization: shifting practices, revitalizing traditions – Heather Shipley

      15. Rape culture and the politics of sainthood – Gina Messina-Dysert

      16. Sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic Church – Rosemary Radford Ruether

      17. Reproductive rights and women's rights: justice in sexual relationships - Rosemary Radford Ruether

      18. AIDS: deviancy, stigma, and grace: counter-theology from the genitals of the Body of Christ – Robert E. Shore-Goss

      19. Queer incarnational bedfelloows: Christian theology and BDSM practices – Robert E. Shore-Goss

      20. Part IV: Divinity

      21. Love and desire – Gianluigi Gugliermetto

      22. Sexuality in religious polemics – Dirk von der Horst

      23. Sexuality and the 'person' of Christ – Lisa Isherwood

      24. More than a divine ménage à trois: friendship, polyamory, and the doctrine of the Trinity – Hugo Quero and Joseph N. Goh

      25. Sacramental sex/uality – Alejandro S. Escalante

      26. Virgin Mary, mother of God: from phallic fetish to fleshy womanhood? – Lisa Isherwood



      Lisa Isherwood is Professor of Feminist Liberation Theologies and Director of the Institute for Theological Partnerships at the University of Winchester, UK.

      Dirk von der Horst is Instructor of Religious Studies at Mount St. Mary's University, Los Angeles, USA.

      Riveting and provocative! The focus on bodily theology, its up-to-date cutting edge research on topics from early Christian monasticism to contemporary pop music, the orientation toward redress of injustices, and the refutation of simplistic media-fostered ideas that all religious views of sexuality are conservative - make this volume a must-read for those who want to keep up with the ongoing theological discourse about sexuality.

      - Barbara Darling-Smith, Wheaton College, Massachusetts, USA

      "The book’s strengths include its careful considerations of gender and sexuality in their historical milieus, some critical engagements with contemporary science, fair considerations of the HIV/AIDS crisis and the crisis of Catholic clerical sexual abuse of minors, and fresh looks at “erotic theology”. It will be interesting to see what queer theologians do with Adrian Thatcher’s turn to sex similarity as opposed to sex difference; in my evaluation, queer theologians would benefit from following Thatcher’s lead on that point. (...) Contemporary Theological Approaches to Sexuality is worth reading to gain a single-volume appraisal of the state of queer theologies at present. The authors present some important points of contention that will likely be sites of future discourse, especially within queer theology."

      - Katherine Apostolacus, Claremont Graduate University, USA