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Sex and the Church: Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of Christian Ethics Paperback – June 30, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

One of the major opponents of the gay rights movement has been conservative, organized Christian churches. Gay lives and gay sexuality have been viewed by many Christians as antithetical to their religious beliefs and dangerous to society as a whole. In Sex and the Church, theologian Kathy Rudy reevaluates traditional Christian positions on both sexuality and gender and comes up with surprising questions and conclusions. Is gender a good--or even moral--way to evaluate a person's relationship to God? How do we discuss the morality of sexual behavior? Is the traditional family the best social structure for a Christian commitment? Rudy is respectful to mainstream Christian beliefs but determined to pursue her arguments even when they conflict with orthodoxy. Rudy's text is smart, incisive, and fearless in its attempt to locate the meaning and truth of "morality" in sexual desire and everyday life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Rudy (ethics and women's studies, Duke Univ.) invites Christians to examine their ideas of family, community, and the morality of sex. Rudy argues that by asking whether gay and lesbian couples should be ordained or married, we avoid other sociosexual questions. The question is not male or female, gay or straight, but how the act of sex affects one's relationship with God and the Christian community. Rudy examines various understandings of sexuality, both historically and currently, in order to codify a Christian-based system of sexual ethics. As the Christian Right brings a resurgence in the popularity of the cult of domesticity, with women and mothers being the connection for the family to God, we genderize the relationship with God. Rudy argues that society will be able to transform the church and find God only by returning to a Christian community and open discussions of moral and immoral sex. Scholarly work for large religious collections.?L. Kriz, West Des Moines P.L., Ia.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; New edition edition (June 30, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807010359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807010358
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,174,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kathy Rudy is associate professor of ethics and women's studies at Duke University. She is the author of "Sex and the Church: Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of Christian Ethics" and "Beyond Pro-Life and Pro-Choice: Moral Diversity in the Abortion Debate."

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tanja L. Walker on May 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Rudy's take on gender theology and how we as Christians can move past it are at once liberating and a little bit scary. I wholeheartedly agree with her call to return to the community of the Christian church, that our relationships should be based around baptism, not family, and that how we relate to God and to each other should be not be based on our gender or sexuality. Her concept of what constitutes moral sex, though, needs to be studied with care. To base the morality of the sex act on community needs and hospitality invites a misread that would sanction all sorts of irresponsible sex acts under the guise of "communal sex." I don't necessarily disagree, but I think a more thorough explanation of what exactly this version of moral sex does and does not look like would have been in order.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Kathy Rudy's book is subtitled, Gender, Homosexuality and theTransformation of Christian Ethics. From that one might think thatthe thrust of the book would be about how the Church can transform her moral sexual ethics. However, half the book is spent on analyzing the position of the Christian Right. While this part seemed well documented, one wonders whether that should have been given as much space given the stated focus of the book. Only in the last chapter does Rudy actually deal with complementarity, unitivity and her addition to the ethic, hospitality.
Her detailed analysis of the Christian Right is perceptive, but that same attention to detail is skipped in the last chapter.
The book was disappointing in the sense that the title and subtitle seemed to suggest another kind of approach. END
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