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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.Read more
- An exciting new venture in systematic theology from a leading Cambridge scholar
- Opens up current, divisive debates on sex and gender and gives a new perspective
- Presents a theological vision of human transformation-in-God, not limited by secular ideological accounts of gender and feminism
- Honourable Mention, 2013 PROSE Award for Theology and Religious Studies
Reviews & endorsements
"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 UniversitySee more reviews
"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."
"This book, God, Sexuality, and the Self, has been a joy to read … Capturing the energy of God, sexuality, and the self in such a clever, comprehensive and challenging way, is truly impressive. The language is challenging, the academic standard [is] very high."
Faith and Freedom
"Admirably, Coakley aims to approach a wider audience whilst remaining academically rigorous."
Aaron P. Edwards, Theological Book Review
"The utterly compelling heart of the book, in which Coakley interprets a selected history of Trinitarian iconography, stands as a masterclass in the use of visual resources for systematic theologians."
Linn Marie Tonstad, Theology and Sexuality
"Coakley's work is engaging and fascinating as a means of critiquing a number of strains of contemporary theology."
Jack Kilcrease, Anglican and Episcopal History
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- Date Published: September 2013
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521552288
- length: 388 pages
- dimensions: 234 x 157 x 22 mm
- weight: 0.75kg
- contains: 39 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Prelude: God, sexuality and the self
The arguments of this book
1. Recasting 'systematic theology': gender, desire and théologie totale
2. Doing theology 'on Wigan Pier': why feminism and the social sciences matter to theology
3. Praying the Trinity: a neglected patristic tradition
4. The charismatic constituency: embarrassment or riches?
5. Seeing God: Trinitarian thought through iconography
6. 'Batter my heart': reorientations of classic Trinitarian thought
7. The primacy of divine desire: God as trinity and the 'apophatic turn'
Coda: conclusions and beyond
Glossary of technical terms and names.
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