An exploration of the sexual practices and doctrinal secrets of Gnosticism- Reconstructs the lost world of Gnostic spiritual-erotic experience through examination of every surviving text written by heresiologists - Investigates the sexual gnosis practices of the Barbelo Gnostics of the 2nd century and their connections to the Gnostic Aeon Sophia, the Wild Lady of Wisdom - Explains the vital significance of "the seed" as a sacrament in Gnostic practice Examining every surviving text written by heresiologists, accounts often ignored in favor of the famous Nag Hammadi Library, Tobias Churton reveals the most secret inner teaching passed down by initiated societies: the tradition of sexual gnosis--higher union with God through the sacrament of sex. Discovering actual sex practices hidden within the writings of the Church's authorities, he reconstructs the lost world of Gnostic spiritual-erotic experience as taught by initiated masters and mistresses and practiced by Christian couples seeking spiritual freedom from the world. Churton explores the practices of the "first Gnostic," the historical Simon Magus, and explains the vital significance of "the seed" in Gnostic practice, showing it to be the sacramental substance par excellence. He illuminates the suppressed truth of why the name "Valentine" came to be associated with ennobling erotic love and reveals profound parallels between sexual gnosis and Tantra, suggesting that gnosis lies at the root of the tantric path. Solving a millennia-old riddle regarding the identity and secret symbol of Sophia, the mysterious Gnostic "Aeon," Churton investigates Sophia's connections to Barbelo, also known as Pruneikos, the Wild Lady of Wisdom, and the central focus of the Barbelo Gnostics of the 2nd century, whose religious sex practices so shocked orthodox Christian contemporaries that they were condemned, their cults of spiritual gnosis and "redemption by sin" driven underground. Churton exposes the mystery of Sophia in the philosophy of the medieval Troubadours and explores William Blake's inheritance of secret Renaissance sexual mysticism through the revolutionary English poet Andrew Marvell. Showing how Blake's sexual and spiritual revolution connects to modern sexual magic, Churton also examines the esoteric meaning of the free-love explosion of the 1960s, revealing how sex can be raised from the realm of guilt into the highest magical sacrament of spiritual transformation.
Deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us. How did the early Christians come to believe that sex was inherently sinful? When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity? What turned Christianity from a dissident sect that championed the integrity of the individual and the idea of free will into the bulwark of a new imperial order--with the central belief that human beings cannot not choose to sin? In this provocative masterpiece of historical scholarship Elaine Pagels re-creates the controversies that racked the early church as it confronted the riddles of sexuality, freedom, and sin as embodied in the story of Genesis. And she shows how what was once heresy came to shape our own attitudes toward the body and the soul.
In a ground-breaking study of religious history, the award-winning author of "The Gnostic Gospels" addresses the issue of religion and sexuality, examining the impact of the founders of the early Christian church on the continuing development of a male-dominated guilt ethos attitude toward sexuality
In Kosher Sex, Rabbi Boteach pioneers a revolutionary approach to sex, marriage, and personal relationships, drawing on traditional Jewish wisdom. Using his experiences counseling individuals and couples, the author breaks down sexual taboos and openly, yet respectfully, discusses the meanings, emotions, and the hidden power of sex.
With his unique anecdotal style, Rabbi Boteach illustrates each and every point, using real couples who have discovered the joys of "kosher sex"--sex based on love, trust, and real intimacy. He profiles the two most common types of couples--best friends and passionate lovers--and suggests ways of synthesizing the best that each type has to offer.
Rabbi Boteach also has advice for singles on finding the right partner; for individuals either willing to take their long-term relationship to the next level or unsure about doing so; and for married couples who may be experiencing problems in their sex life. At a time when three out of every five marriages fail, Kosher Sex will have an astonishing and positive impact.
With a no-holds-barred conversational style and keen insight, Rabbi Boteach breaks all the taboos and pioneers a new approach to sex, marriage, and personal relationships. He not only brings traditional Jewish wisdom into the twentieth century but makes it relevant to everyone searching for a deeper, more meaningful, and more satisfying love life.
As a bisexual Christian woman, happily and faithfully married to a man, a mother of three children and with a blossoming ministry as a preacher, Jaime Sommers had always felt as if her true self did not really exist in the eyes of the Church. She could find neither theology nor pastoral support for a person who felt the need for physical closeness with both sexes in order to feel well or 'whole'. Following a brief, isolated incident in which Jaime kissed another woman, the full extent of the Church's inability to acknowledge or understand her identity became apparent. The disciplinary process to which she was subjected led to her suffering depression and anxiety and feelings of isolation. Jaime's powerful and emotive story reveals the failure of the Church - and of large parts of wider culture and society - to recognise and support the experience and needs of those who identify as the silent 'B' in LGBT.
Amazing Love offers a calm, theologically and biblically rooted perspective on same-sex love and relationships. It illuminates without heat, and it will enrich the Church's conversation around these matters. In short, accessible chapters, Andrew Davison (Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge) explores issues of sexuality in relation to Being Followers of Jesus, Being Human, Being Biblical, Being Part of the Story, Being in Love, and Being Missional.
This book is about sexual morality, the Christian Church, and moral argument in late modernity. Arguing about Sex offers a critical evaluation of the intellectual and cultural contexts in which the practical moral discourse of institutions takes place. After analyzing the challenges and possibilities of the Christian moral rhetoric of sex, the book builds a constructive ethical argument about sexual morality in a Christian context.The book is intended for audiences who are interested in and articulate about issues of sexual morality. Students in university and seminary courses in religion and ethics will find this book helpful as will moral theorists interested in examining new relations between ethical norms and moral rules.
Lady Gaga's song "Born This Way" has become an anthem for homosexual rights, asserting in a simplistic fashion that same-sex attraction is a trait much like hair or skin color. In Born This Way?, the author surveys the most common scientific arguments in favor of homosexuality and respond to pro-homosexual arguments. A review of the research will show that, while there are some genetic or biological factors that correlate with a higher incidence of same-sex attraction and homosexual behavior, as of yet there is no proof of genetic or biological causation for homosexuality.
While the expectations and circumstances of women's lives in ancient Israel have received considerable attention in recent scholarship, to date little attention has been focused on the role of daughters in Hebrew narrative‒‒that is, of yet unmarried female members of the household, who are not yet mothers. Kimberly D. Russaw argues that daughters are more than foils for the males (fathers, brothers, etc.) in biblical narratives and that they often use particular tactics to navigate antagonistic systems of power in their worlds. Institutions and power structures favor the patriarch, sons inherit such privileges and benefits, and wives and mothers are ascribed special status because they ensure the patrilineal legacy by birthing sons; but daughters do not receive such social favor or standing. Instead of privileging daughters, systems and institutions control their bodies, restrict their access, and constrict their movement. Combining philological data, social-science models, and cross-cultural comparisons, Russaw examines the systems that constrict biblical daughters in their worlds and the strategies they employ when hostile social forces threaten their well-being.