Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay 'On the Trinity' Paperback – August 29, 2013
2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Francis Watson, Chair of Biblical Interpretation, Durham University
"Sarah Coakley does some very interesting things in [God, Sexuality, and the Self] ... She 'risks' writing for a general Christian audience, and her readable, even entertaining book shows that it was worth the risk."
Peter J. Leithart, First Things
"... reading God, Sexuality, and the Self is like watching the world premiere of a brilliant new opera - one whose story draws on fascinating bits of regional history so viewers come away understanding their own home better, even though the art itself is new."
"This book, God, Sexuality, and the Self, has been a joy to read. ... Capturing the energy of God, sexuality, and the self in such a clever, comprehensive and challenging way, is truly impressive. The language is challenging, the academic standard [is] very high."
Faith and Freedom
"Admirably, Coakley aims to approach a wider audience whilst remaining academically rigorous."
Aaron P. Edwards, Theological Book Review
"The utterly compelling heart of the book, in which Coakley interprets a selected history of Trinitarian iconography, stands as a masterclass in the use of visual resources for systematic theologians."
Linn Marie Tonstad, Theology and Sexuality
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
A critical book review would praise the book's erudition and accessibility. No doubt, this is the work of a theological master. Each page crackles with brilliant retrievals of the tradition and results in a creative, refreshing, and empowering synthesis.
Its brilliance as a scholarly text aside, let me say simply: this book enkindled within me the desire to pray. Coakley describes the act of contemplative prayer as inculcating "patterns of un-mastery" whereby one allows God, through the Spirit, to refashion one's life in the pattern of the Son. I finished the book yesterday afternoon and attended the Palm Sunday liturgy at a local parish. I found myself newly caught up in the Passion narrative anew. I cannot escape the sense that this probing text contributed enormously to carving out new space within my heart and mind, making possible a new experience of liturgical and personal prayer.
This is not a dispassionate book "about" theology. It is, itself, an exercise in theology because it is book arising from, and leading toward, prayer. Written in a flowing and accessible manner, this is an indispensable book for readers who desire to know what it would be "to enter, willingly and consciously, to the life of divine desire." For Coakley, theology is always "a recommendation for life." Read this text as an itinerary, as a program of theological exercise of mind and spirit, and be open to the transformative power of ascetic prayer led by the Spirit.
Coakley's overall goal is to articulate a view of the Trinity that is based in contemplative prayer, prayer that is infused with the simultaneously alluring and purgative presence of the Spirit. This is a 'Spirit-led' view of the Trinity, modeled on Romans 8 (the major precedent here is Origen). In order to get at this view of the Trinity, Coakley employs what she calls "theologie totale" (a nod to the Annales school of historiography). With this method, Coakley draws in a number of heterogenous elements into her systematic development, including iconography and gender theory, but--most strikingly--sociology, in the form of a field study of two north England churches where she discovers varieties of pneumatology in action. This great variety of material is enthralling, as one begins to see how different views of the Trinity seep into every aspect of life. One feels a great sense of excitement when she discusses orthodoxy as a spiritual project (again, a la Origen), rather than simple propositional assent.
Absolutely the most striking aspect of Coakley's text, however, is that its resolute commitment to feminism ends up producing a a more orthodox view of the Trinity than any traditionalist repetition. She exposes how many of these traditionalist viewpoints implicitly exclude the Spirit from equality with the other members of the Trinity, even if they explicitly claim otherwise. A recovery of the Romans 8 incorporative understanding of the Trinity, where the Spirit leads ones participation in the triune reality, is necessary.Read more ›
The extensive bibliographies at the end of each chapter provide an excellent directory for further study, and the study of Trinitarian iconography in chapter 5 is indispensable to the education of any serious Christian. I look forward to the next book in Coakley's theologie totale series.
My only criticism is that I feel the editing could have been tighter, and that sometimes the importance of the author's point is lost in wordiness. Especially in the first few chapters, the author falls prey to telling us what she is going to tell us, telling us, then telling us what she told us. (This is the only reason I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5.)
This book was thoroughly enjoyable to read. Each chapter contained original, creative insights from Coakley that kept the reader on their toes and looking towards what would appear next. Most systematic theology, in contrast to this work, is extremely orderly and, quite often, rather dry even for those accustomed to academic writing. Another norm in the field of systematic theology is that it normally comes from the pen of male theologians. Coakley's work disregards both typical conventions, opting for a creative venture into the Trinity that speaks afresh to the issues of the modern world.
God sexuality and the self coverAs merely the first book of an eventual 4-volume systematic project (vol. 2 upcoming in 2016), one should not judge this book, as some commentators have already begun to do, by the completeness of her system. This book aims to add complexity to traditional histories of Trinitarian development. Her own approach to the doctrine, dubbed a "Contemplative Trinity," seeks to recover a neglected prayer-based model of the Trinity. In tandem with this doctrinal concern, Coakley addresses the contemporary controversies of sexuality and gender. Any Christian today, regardless of which side of the aisle they stand on in any specific issue, recognizes that gender issues and problems of sexuality abound for the Church. Recently, main denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, have openly admitted their need for a new strategy in tackling these controversies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a scholarly work the likes of which are hard to come by. The insights and explanations are clearly set out, and the scholarly backing everything up is to be envied.Published 19 months ago by Ignacio L. Gotz
An exceptionally well articulated view of an ancient but extremely important theological subject.Published 22 months ago by charles g. westwater
If you enjoy reading academic theology you might enjoy reading this. I could see all the teacher comments between the lines. Not an interesting book.Published 22 months ago by R. Weller
Sarah Coakley brings a contemplative spirit and practice to theology I have not seen in American theologians. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Kenneth Semon