God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay 'On the Trinity'

God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay 'On the Trinity'

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Sarah Coakley
Cambridge University Press, 8/29/2013
EAN 9780521558266, ISBN10: 0521558263

Paperback, 384 pages, 22.6 x 15.2 x 2 cm
Language: English

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.

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'
conclusions and beyond
Glossary of technical terms and names.

Advance praise: '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