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God, Sexuality, and the Self [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Coakley
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

God, Sexuality and the Self is a new venture in systematic theology. Sarah Coakley invites the reader to re-conceive the relation of sexual desire and the desire for God and – through the lens of prayer practice – to chart the intrinsic connection of this relation to a theology of the Trinity. The goal is to integrate the demanding ascetical undertaking of prayer with the recovery of lost and neglected materials from the tradition and thus to reanimate doctrinal reflection both imaginatively and spiritually. What emerges is a vision of human longing for the triune God which is both edgy and compelling: Coakley's théologie totale questions standard shibboleths on 'sexuality' and 'gender' and thereby suggests a way beyond current destructive impasses in the churches. The book is clearly and accessibly written and will be of great interest to all scholars and students of theology.

Product Description


'In the beginning was the Word … Where the Christian account of divine trinity is traced back to the Johannine correlation of God and the Logos, the third Person may be no more than a necessary postscript. In this remarkable first volume of her Systematic Theology, Sarah Coakley proposes an alternative, Pauline trinitarianism in which the Holy Spirit is fundamental rather than marginal - the Spirit who 'helps us in our weakness' by redirecting human desire towards God. From this starting point, the argument opens out to incorporate patristic traditions of ascetic spirituality and contemplation, the trinity as represented in the visual arts, and fieldwork in a modern charismatic church. The book is an extraordinary achievement, lucid and nuanced yet passionate and provocative in its plea for a reintegrated theology.' Francis Watson, Chair of Biblical Interpretation, Durham University

'Wonderfully refreshing … an astonishingly rich and deep theological and spiritual exploration.' Church Times

'Rich, suggestive and controversial.' The Times Literary Supplement

'Sarah Coakley does some very interesting things in [God, Sexuality, and the Self] … She 'risks' writing for a general Christian audience, and her readable, even entertaining book shows that it was worth the risk.' Peter J. Leithart, First Things

'… reading God, Sexuality, and the Self is like watching the world premiere of a brilliant new opera - one whose story draws on fascinating bits of regional history so viewers come away understanding their own home better, even though the art itself is new.' Christian Century

'… brilliant.' The Tablet

Book Description

This new and creative venture in systematic theology unearths the profound relation of God, prayer and 'sexuality' and ends up mapping a new landscape of theological endeavour. Accessible, clear and challenging, it will be of great interest to all scholars and students of theology.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5392 KB
  • Print Length: 389 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0521552281
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (31 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E99YK5Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #212,329 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A profound and timely book 13 Oct. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this fine book, Sarah Coakley argues that in seeking to engage with the mystery of the Trinity today we need also to take on board the `intrinsic entanglement of human sexuality and spirituality'. Here she offers a systematic theology, a theologie totale, that honours the practice of contemplation, offers a theology that is always in transit, explores the inter-relating between theology and psychology and attends to art, poetry and music. Her `total theology' seeks to overcome all false divides between what we believe and how we live, and between the worlds of thought and feeling.

In this enterprise, Coakley sees Romans 8 as the touchstone for an emerging understanding of the Trinity, including: `When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is the very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ...' (vv. 15-17). She then traces the story of contemplation and Christian ecstasy within the context of the life-changing equality between Father, Son and Holy Spirit and, where appropriate, their relevance to gender. For example, she shows the link between the Spirit-filled ecstasies of Montanism and the honouring of women in positions of power and authority. A further instance is found in John of the Cross, who alludes to Romans 8 and the `Holy Spirit's action on the "feminized" soul'.

In the later chapters, she offers an intriguing discussion on the tendency to demote the Spirit in the depiction of the Trinity by Christian artists and engages in detail with Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine, their views on the Trinity and their references to gender.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very thought-provoking 18 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While not always an easy read if you are unfamiliar with theological terminology, this is a stimulating and thought-provoking book that gives new insight into the Holy Spirit in particular.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book arrived promptly and well packaged.
It's a very sophisticated and intellectual read.
Not for those with just a casual the
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful and erudite book. 29 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book, meticulously researched and well written.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 27 July 2014
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