As evidenced by the ten provocative essays assembled and edited by Mark D. Jordan, the answers are not as simple as many would believe. The scholars of Judaism and Christianity gathered here explore the issue through a wide range of biblical, historical, liturgical, and theological evidence. From David's love for Jonathan through the singleness of Jesus and Paul to the all-male heaven of John's Apocalypse, the collection addresses pertinent passages in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament with scholarly precision. It reconsiders whether there are biblical precedents for blessing same-sex unions in Jewish and Christian liturgies.
The book concludes by analyzing typical religious arguments against such unions and provides a comprehensive response to claims that the Judeo-Christian tradition prohibits same-sex unions from receiving religious recognition. The essays, most of which are in print here for the first time, are by Saul M. Olyan, Mary Ann Tolbert, Daniel Boyarin, Laurence Paul Hemming, Steven Greenberg, Kathryn Tanner, Susan Frank Parsons, Eugene F. Rogers, Jr., and Mark D. Jordan.
Practical and realistic, this book helps women break free from ineffective behaviors and attitudes to discover God's design for waiting, dating, and choosing a mate.
Often ambivalent but always passionately engaged, their readings of the Confessions center on four sets of intertwined themes--secrecy and confession, asceticism and eroticism, constraint and freedom, and time and eternity. Rather than expose Augustine's sexual history, they explore how the Confessions conjoins the erotic with the hidden, the imaginary, and the fictional. Rather than bemoan the repressiveness of his text, they uncover the complex relationship between seductive flesh and persuasive words that pervades all of its books. Rather than struggle to escape the control of the author, they embrace the painful pleasure of willed submission that lies at the erotic heart not only of the Confessions but also of Augustine's broader understanding of sin and salvation. Rather than mourn the fateful otherworldliness of his theological
vision, they plumb the bottomless depths of beauty that Augustine discovers within creation, thereby extending desire precisely by refusing satisfaction.
In unfolding their readings, the authors draw upon other works in Augustine's corpus while building on prior Augustinian scholarship in their own overlapping fields of history, theology, and philosophy.
They also press well beyond the conventional boundaries of scholarly disciplines, conversing with such wide-ranging theorists of eroticism as Barthes, Baudrillard, Klossowski, Foucault, and Harpham. In the end, they offer not only a fresh interpretation of Augustine's famous work but also a multivocal literary-philosophical meditation on the seductive elusiveness of desire, bodies, language, and God.