Casting Stones: Prostitution and Liberation in Asia and the United States

Synopsis

This stunning look at the global sex industry brings fresh analysis and new approaches to the baffling and complex issues that surround prostitution. Religion and society have both cast stones at prostitutes, seeing them as archetypal sinners and blaming them for their situation. Brock and Thistlethwaite, after many years of research, travel, and interviews, offer this cross-cultural study. They compare and highlight structures that sustain prostitution as a global system of exploitation of the most vulnerable in the United States as well as Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Taiwan. This structural analysis is then submitted to a theological critique of doctrines of sin and karma, the traditional rubrics under which religion (in this instance, Christianity and Buddhism) has considered prostitution. The heart of their project is rethinking the deeper cultural and religious notions of sexuality, power, and violence that undergird sexual exploitation. New approaches to prostitution through religious and social change are proposed.

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