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See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; Reprint edition (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780807004685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807004685
  • ASIN: 0807004685
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #950,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“An essential book [that] will perhaps begin the national conversation that we deserve.”—Paul Landerman, Edge
 
“Frykholm and the brave souls she interviews will challenge your understanding of grace.”—David K. Wheeler, Burnside Writers Collective
 
“The most redemptive book I've ever read.”—Dave, Elliot Bay Bookstore

“A culturally significant collection that explores the challenges of reconciling pleasure with piety.”—Kirkus

“A Christian herself, Frykholm does not offer this book as a means to discourage people from the religion. Rather, she holds up these wounded but not lost souls to critique dogmatic practices that, in disdaining the body, disdain the spirit.”—Crystal K. Wiebe, Bitch
 
“A fascinating, troubling, and finally heartening book that subtly shows ways that Christians might reconcile their bodies with their devotion to God. Highly recommended for individual Christians but also for pastors and church groups.”Library Journal, starred review

“Amy Frykholm has gathered the intimate stories of people of faith in search of wholeness. These tender tales both challenge and encourage the church to listen to voices it might not hear otherwise. When it comes to integrating mind, body and spirit, the Church can serve as curse or blessing. These searingly honest stories compel us to strive for the latter.”—The Rev. Lillian Daniel, author of Tell it Like it is: Recovering the Practice of Testimony
 
“This is a compelling book that traverses the teeming intersection of sexuality and faith in the life of nine individuals. They are stories of very ordinary people's struggles to live as whole beings. Their stories are rendered with such compassion and insight, however, that the result is anything but ordinary. The reader is left with the conviction that the church must, and the hope that it will, minister to people in the fullness of their lives.”—The Rev. Martin B. Copenhaver, author of To Begin at the Beginning

“American Christianity is facing a crisis: our easy answers about life after death have left so many with little hope for life in their bodies here and now. Amy Frykholm chronicles this crisis in real time, inviting us to experience the pain of sisters and brothers living in exile from their flesh. But she also proclaims a gentle word of hope: ‘look again at our tradition,’ she seems to whisper. 'Christ is risen in a body with feet that touch the ground."–Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture

“With singular gentleness and a palpable respect for those whose stories she is telling, Amy Frykholm lays bare whole areas of human sexual formation that I had never seen before, much less considered….This is an important book.”—Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why  

“These disarmingly honest life stories of people navigating the ‘tenacious strangeness’ of their sexual and spiritual lives will stay with you long after you finish this book. So will the gracious, honoring, and insightful ways Frykholm tells and interprets them. It should be on every Protestant pastor's coffee table.”—Timothy Beal, author of The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Amy Frykholm is author of Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America and Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography. She works as a correspondent for the Christian Century and lives in Colorado. 


From the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Amy Frykholm is author of Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America and Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography. She works as a correspondent for the Christian Century and lives in Colorado.

Photo Credit: Liz DiSilva, 2011

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Leyland Fields on December 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Frykohlm has done us all a great favor: she's given us bodies, stories, lives of nine people who struggle within the confusing nexus of their faith and their sexuality. The portraits are well-written, compelling, sympathetic. The author has done an excellent job of getting inside others' skin. The introduction is particularly good, revealing the author's keen analytical mind,but See Me Naked expresses no real agenda beyond this: to complicate whatever narrative and simple fix we've given to this cluster of issues. It does this very successfully. But, while complication is always necessary----nearly every issue is thornier than we want to admit---I confess to a bit of impatience over the author's impatience with those who set rules for right sexual conduct. We often name "simple," "naive" or "fundamentalist" those who teach and set biblical rules for sexuality, or for anything. We may feel that we're too educated or sophisticated to simply follow "rules," and then we offer open doors sometimes to those who can't not go through them. (I remember, as well, that God's first revelation of Himself to his new people was through "rules," 10 of them.) We often pit story against "rule"--and I'm not sure this is a true or necessary divide. Despite this complaint, I do think "See Me Naked" is a valuable addition to a topic increasingly and necessarily under scrutiny.
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Format: Paperback
I found several aspects of this book to be particularly helpful for thinking through our process of introducing sexuality in student youth ministries. In the introduction, Frykholm describes the tensions that she sets out to explore in the book:

“Spirituality and sexuality, for many people in American society and perhaps especially Christians, are kept rigidly separate, and many struggle to find a way to reconcile the religious elements of their lives and their sexual realities.”

To unpack this idea, she divides her book into three parts, each featuring three different narratives from nine individuals. The book is unique in that it doesn’t present itself as a wellspring of information with all the research, statistics, bullet points, and practical tips that dominate most of our academic landscape. Rather she lets the stories speak for themselves leaving the reader(s) with the impression that our approach to sexuality cannot be whittled down to simplicity as our cumulative experiences are not simple. This is effective for those who bind sexuality to a pillar of statutes wherein the only answer is a simple answer. Unfortunately, our habits of acceptance have reduced any plan that God may have for our sexual redemption into a plan of mere compliance and suppression that renders our sexuality weak, shallow, and inaccessible for many who desire to see God’s presence in this part of their lives.

I highly recommend it.
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By V. Aaberg on February 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone struggling with faith and sexuality should read this book. This writing so clearly describes what so few of us talk about.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan B. Lee on October 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
Something is amiss at the intersection of body and soul for American Christians. It seems that church folks at large have not yet learned how integrate their sexuality into their spirituality. We are told that God made this good earth but we should forward to the day when we will "fly away" to our heavenly home. We are taught that sex is God's gift that we should be terrified of and avoid until marriage, at which point we should expect to be magically transformed into experts of passion.

Amy Frykholm offers See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity as a deep, attentive look into the stories of nine people for whom the oxymoronic relationship between sex and spirit has become unsustainable or even deadly. By hearing these folks tell their stories, a way begins to emerge for embracing our given wholeness as created beings.

Frykholm divides the book into three thematic sections: Wilderness, Incarnation, and Resurrection. In the Wilderness section, we hear from people who, for numerous reasons, could not find themselves at home within the paradox of conventional Christian sexual ethics. In the second section, Incarnation, the interview subjects discover what it means to be embodied beings. The final section, Resurrection, the reader hears stories of those whose sexual experience has been one of death-dealing abuse or addiction where the journey toward wholeness necessarily involves some kind of rebirth to a new way of living and being in the world.

The author tenaciously avoids the temptation to slip into moralizing or casting judgment. She simply lets the stories stand as they are.
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