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Politics, sex, global economics, religion: sounds like a pot-boiling fiction best seller. But, while there are many harrowing scenes and both despicable and heroic characters, there's precious little "romance" in this study of prostitution and the international sex trade in Asia (Korea, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan) and the United States. As the authors quote one prostitute, "It kind of kills you, but it's over fast." And yet, one Thai military officer, suspected of being more than a customer, took offence at the authors' use of the term "sex industry"! The authors, both Christian feminists, interviewed hundreds of prostitutes and those who would provide them refuge on both sides of the Pacific, and their analysis owes much to Liberation Theology, particularly Korean minjung theology. "Evil," they write, "should be reconceived as whatever increases human helplessness, reinforces or inflicts pain without a healing purpose, and/or creates separation from relationships of love and nurture. Those three things - helplessness, pain, and separation - define evil as it is experienced by those exploited by the sex industry." It is no surprise, the authors point out, that this particular form of evil trade has taken root in and between the United States and (with the exception of Singapore) the most developed and developing countries of Eastern Asia. "The temptations of market economic theory are to reduce every aspect of human life to its value in the marketplace. .... The way in which certain economic systems contribute to human sin is to institutionalize the lack of care in a society and to make the consequences of this lack of care invisible.Read more ›
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"Casting Stones" is a very well written book about prositution and the reasons behind prositutions. In reading this book you will find that the authors took this subject and the writing of the book very seriously, researching, visiting, and speaking to prosituties and those in the prositution industry. Perhaps, most interesting is the information that the authors provided on Asian prositution. The authors, traveled to Asia to research the economic, cultural, and religious reasons behind prositution. An example of some of the topics that are discussed: sex tourism in Asian countries, how young girls are perfered due to the AIDS epidemic, and the mindframe of prositutes which prevents them from leaving prosituition. It should also be noted that the authors wrote this book from a Christian theologoian perspective, with a sensitivity to other religions and ways of life. This is a very interesting book with a different view of prosituition, and a worthy read.
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Rita Nakashima Brock is the co-author of "Soul Repair: Recovering from the Moral Injury after War" with Gabriella Lettini(Beacon Press, 2012),a research professor and codirector of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School, Ft. Worth, Texas. She is the author, with Rebecca Ann Parker, of "Proverbs of Ashes" and "Saving Paradise". She lives in Oakland, California.