Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Religion & Sexuality: Passionate Debates

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Religion & Sexuality: Passionate Debates

Article excerpt

RELIGION & SEXUALITY: PASSIONATE DEBATES. C. K. Robertson, (Ed.). New York: NY: Peter Lang Publishers, 2005, Pp. 255, $29.95, Pb. Reviewed by Jacqueline Gatewood (Regent University/Virginia Beach, VA).

Robertson provides a viable metaphor for the subject of sex when he likens it to a "roller coaster." And he maintains the extremes of the "ride" through his editorial selections for Religion and Sexuality: Passionate Debates. Robertson does not shy away from the provocative in this array of scholarly writings that explore the relationship of religious beliefs and sexuality.

The first selection, Is Anyone Listening? The Waning Voice of the Bible and Sexual Ethics, is a scholarly work by Douglas C. Mohrman which investigates the "process in which we research, deliberate, and converse' about sexism and Christianity. The author looks at the declining role of the Bible and the Church as a cultural authority. Mohrman then proceeds to Leviticus 18 and 20 and Romans 1 for a significant discussion regarding the Church's ambivalence with the "intent" of the Scriptures in ethical decisions.

Oropeza plunges into the specifics of what/which sexual activities are considered prohibited for contemporary Christians in western society (What is Sex? Christians and Erotic Boundaries) Oropeza moves beyond typical Biblical translations to the original Greek and explores the concept of "porneia." A four-tier scale is presented for explicit clarification of various sexual activities; the chapter is concluded with a discussion of a sexual ethic for Christians-"Glorify God in your bodies."

Gender role changes in society is the focus of Georgia A. Newman's work, Woman's Place or Women's Spaces: Intertwining History, Herstory, and Christianity. She provides an extensive historical view of women, society, and the church (specifically ordination). Her discussion traces women's increasing place in employment and certain aspects of society but notes the hesitancy of the Church to keep pace. She asks the pertinent question, "What spaces must women occupy to find a 'place' in which the uniquely feminine is truly at one with the uniquely masculine?"

Chapter 4 is an interesting discussion of the history of Mormon polygamy by David D. Peck. The first half of the chapter establishes the doctrinal foundations of Mormon polygamy as an act of faith and devotion to God. Peck presents an interesting portfolio of the early Mormon beliefs, especially the doctrinal implication of "sealing/celestial marriage. …

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